The History of Torture

The History of Torture

3.57 (177 ratings by Goodreads)
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However repugnant, torture has been practised, either publicly approved or clandestinely, for thousands of years. From the rack to electrodes, from witch- hunts to the Inquisition to a post-colonial world, torture is something we have always lived with.

The History of Torture tells the complete story, from the ancient world to the present day, from physical cruelty to mental torment. The rack may be thought of as something medieval, but was first written about in ancient Greece, thumbscrews were introduced to western Europe from Russia in the 17th century, and with the 20th century came the use of electricity and hallucinogenic drugs to elicit confessions.

Ranging from the ancient world to World War II, from the war in Algeria (1954- 62) to the torture of the IRA in Northern Ireland, from the torture of Native Americans to India, China, Japan and Cambodia's Killing Fields, the book also details the torture that has taken place since 9/11, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Guantanamo Bay.

Meticulously researched, The History of Torture is illustrated with more than 100 etchings, paintings and photographs. It offers a remarkable overview of the uses and abuses of power, both within and outside the legal system.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 189 x 240 x 14mm | 600g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 110 black and white photos; 110 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 178274519X
  • 9781782745198
  • 3,567,815

Table of contents


Chapter One
Torture in Greece & Rome

Chapter Two
Savage Rituals

Chapter Three
The Inquisition

Chapter Four
Crude Methods of Torture

Chapter Five
The Spanish Inquisition

Chapter Six
Torture in England & the Colonies

Chapter Seven
European Witch-Hunts

Chapter Eight
Instruments of Torture

Chapter Nine
China, Japan & India

Chapter Ten
Suppressing the Opposition

Chapter Eleven
Torture in the Twentieth Century

Chapter Twelve
Torture of the Mind

Chapter Thirteen
Torture Post 9/11

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About Brian Innes

Brian Innes trained as a scientist and worked as a biochemical researcher before turning to writing. He published a large number of articles and books on forensic science. He died in 2014.
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Rating details

177 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 17% (30)
4 34% (61)
3 38% (68)
2 9% (16)
1 1% (2)
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