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A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America [Paperback]

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Item description for A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America by David Griffith...

In the wake of Abu Ghraib, Americans have struggled to understand what happened in the notorious prison and why. In this elegant series of essays, inflected with a radical Catholic philosophy, David Griffith contends that society's shift from language to image has changed the way people think about violence and cruelty, and that a disconnect exists between images and reality. Griffith meditates on images and literature, finding potent insight into what went wrong at the prison in the works of Susan Sontag, Anthony Burgess, and especially Flannery O'Connor, who often explored the gulf between proclamations of faith and the capacity for evil. Accompanying the essays are illustrated facts about torture, lists of torture methods and their long-term effects, and graphics such as the schematics of the "pain pathways" in the human body. Together, the images and essays endow the human being with the complexity images alone deny.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 15, 2006
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368128  
ISBN13  9781933368122  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Griffith

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! is Senior Scientist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at East Carolina University.

David Griffith currently resides in the state of North Carolina. David Griffith was born in 1932.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Current Events > War & Peace
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Violence in Society

Reviews - What do customers think about A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America?

Who, How and What We Are  Oct 12, 2006
Truth in reviewing: I am acquainted with the author of this book, but not acquainted well enough to have known what it would be. I actually expected a novel; we get one writer's reckoning of how America reached the point where its own were humiliating and torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib apparently for kicks. This is not political spin, it is thoughtful moral discourse, the kind of critical thinking that has gone missing for a long, long time.

When the news and photographs from Abu Ghraib hit the radar, they were quickly packaged and trimmed down to a focus on Michael Graner, Lynndie England and one or two other "bad apples." In fact, Griffith reminds us, the original photographs showed more soldiers along the edges of the sensational activities, appearing casual and even indifferent. The "bad apples" were part of the pack and that pack, Griffith finds in an exploration of American character, are us.

In a series of essays illustrated with deliberately grainy reproductions of the images he discusses, Griffith sorts through American history, his own experiences growing up Catholic as well as close readings of the ideas and works of Flannery O'Connor and Andy Warhol, among others, to probe the psycho-social roots of violence in a land so many argue was founded on Christian teachings. The territory he travels is at once familiar and all new, and what he reveals is sobering. Griffith's voice is engaging, which makes this difficult trip doable, even when he is showing us the ironic complexities of everyday life.
sublime realities  Sep 15, 2006
This is a text that when you set it down stays with you. Seemingly disperate events/artifacts from american culture are drawn together abu ghraib becomes only more disturbing. When i opened this book i was disgusted by those images but had a flurry of emotions attributed to them more than anythign else. Now, I am compelled to investigate further how abu ghraib is an expected event for where we are as a people. So, you leave this book knowing that every individual, yourself included, is to blame for abu ghraib, but therefore empowered to prevent it from reoccuring.

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