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Active Voice Radio 6-25-08: Terry Aladjem - The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice

From: Chris Goldstein
Length: 29:30

Terry Aladjem of Harvard University discusses his new book that explores the psychology and philosophy of Vengence in America Read the full description.

Default-piece-image-2 Justice is our theme this month on Active Voice Radio. This week we present respected Harvard lecturer Terry Aladjem on his newest book. The themes of Vengeance and Justice are visceral to the American psyche and national instinct. Terry's book and interview present a fascinating exploration of how deep the river of Vengeance runs in the United States. BOOK INFO FROM CAMBRIDGE PRESS ### "America is driven by vengeance in Terry Aladjem's provocative account - a reactive, public anger that is a threat to democratic justice itself. From the return of the death penalty to the wars on terror and in Iraq, Americans demand retribution and moral certainty; they assert the 'rights of victims' and make pronouncements against 'evil'. Yet for Aladjem this dangerously authoritarian turn has its origins in the tradition of liberal justice itself ? in theories of punishment that justify inflicting pain and in the punitive practices that result. Exploring vengeance as the defining problem of our time, Aladjem returns to the theories of Locke, Hegel and Mill. He engages the ancient Greeks, Nietzsche, Paine and Foucault to challenge liberal assumptions about punishment. He interrogates American law, capital punishment and images of justice in the media. He envisions a democratic justice that is better able to contain its vengeance." ###

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Piece Description

Justice is our theme this month on Active Voice Radio. This week we present respected Harvard lecturer Terry Aladjem on his newest book. The themes of Vengeance and Justice are visceral to the American psyche and national instinct. Terry's book and interview present a fascinating exploration of how deep the river of Vengeance runs in the United States. BOOK INFO FROM CAMBRIDGE PRESS ### "America is driven by vengeance in Terry Aladjem's provocative account - a reactive, public anger that is a threat to democratic justice itself. From the return of the death penalty to the wars on terror and in Iraq, Americans demand retribution and moral certainty; they assert the 'rights of victims' and make pronouncements against 'evil'. Yet for Aladjem this dangerously authoritarian turn has its origins in the tradition of liberal justice itself ? in theories of punishment that justify inflicting pain and in the punitive practices that result. Exploring vengeance as the defining problem of our time, Aladjem returns to the theories of Locke, Hegel and Mill. He engages the ancient Greeks, Nietzsche, Paine and Foucault to challenge liberal assumptions about punishment. He interrogates American law, capital punishment and images of justice in the media. He envisions a democratic justice that is better able to contain its vengeance." ###

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