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Gloves Off

Glen Newey: Torture, 29 January 2009

Death by a Thousand Cuts 
by Timothy Brook, Jérôme Bourgon and Gregory Blue.
Harvard, 320 pp., £22.95, March 2008, 978 0 674 02773 2
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Standard Operating Procedure: A War Story 
by Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris.
Picador, 286 pp., £8.99, January 2009, 978 0 330 45201 4
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Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law 
by Philippe Sands.
Allen Lane, 315 pp., £20, May 2008, 978 1 84614 008 2
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... or for the blessed-in-waiting, was depicted by Bosch or Zurbarán with orgasmic sadism. As Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris note in Standard Operating Procedure, Christian iconography places at its centre an implement of torture and, in the stigmata, offers an all too human scourge with which to flay flesh raw. Of course, millions of Christians ...

What belongs

Mary Beard, 7 April 1994

On the Museum’s Ruins 
by Douglas Crimp.
MIT, 348 pp., £24.95, November 1993, 0 262 03209 0
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... and make your Holocaust victim an unusual souvenir of a memorable Sunday afternoon? Or maybe, as Philip Gourevitch observed, just throw it away as you leave the show? After all, the museum Holocaust experience always comes to an end, and your victim can easily be dumped with the trash when you’re safely back in the sunshine – a neat replay of ...

Who’s the big one?

Irina Aleksander: Gary Shteyngart, 22 May 2014

Little Failure: A Memoir 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Hamish Hamilton, 368 pp., £16.99, February 2014, 978 0 241 14665 1
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... out on the internet. You were ranked thirty, and David Remnick was eight positions ahead of you. Philip Gourevitch was ranked number eleven. They are both ahead of you.’ Nina, pulling her son aside during the same dinner: ‘It seems like you don’t really know me.’ Semyon, again to Shteyngart’s wife: ‘When I was young, I kill sheep. Girls ...

The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency

Mahmood Mamdani: Iraq and Darfur, 8 March 2007

... you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, the most widely read book on the genocide, Philip Gourevitch envisaged Rwanda as a replay of the Holocaust, with Hutu cast as perpetrators and Tutsi as victims. Again, the encounter between the two seemed to take place outside any context, as part of an eternal encounter between evil and ...

Rwanda in Six Scenes

Stephen W. Smith: Fables of Rwanda, 17 March 2011

... banished from the room. What do you ask ‘the Lady Macbeth of the Rwandan genocide’, as Philip Gourevitch called her? How do you approach a conversation with someone who’s been portrayed as the latter-day incarnation of a legendary sorceress in Rwandan dynastic history? Or as the ultimate ‘Hutu power’ extremist, who some believed was ...

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