C
Organization and Explanations

This appendix offers a formal statement of each explanatory hypothesis and rejected alternatives. Some might prefer to see all the historical facts grouped around these propositions. Let me acknowledge that behavioral social scientists write about such materials differently. In that tradition, I should summarize the history, pass over the “data,” and get on with the theoretical explanation. Then the links between the history and the theoretical explanations would be much clearer.

I have sharpened the link between the historical material and theoretical hypotheses in the introduction to the book, the smaller introductions to parts II and IV, and chapters 19 and 20. This appendix may also be helpful as a guide to my main arguments. But generally, I have resisted this suggestion in favor of a plain-language text suited for ordinary educated readers. While I can certainly see the case for a social scientific reorganization of this study (hypothesis, alternative hypothesis, test, evidence, interpretation of results), social scientists are not my only audience. I appreciate the impatience of some more disciplinarily inclined readers, and it is fine to call the backbone of this manuscript “data” and demand more “theory.” But there is a difference between “clean” and “dirty” data, and social scientists can summarize the data at their own peril. Torture is not like other topics in the social sciences, and too much of its history is wrapped in national mythology, accusation, and rumor. One could organize this study around a set of national case studies rather than study the empirical distribution of techniques worldwide. But then one would reproduce torture folklore in the guise of scholarship, and that is hardly a suitable basis for theorizing.

Here then is the argument in a nutshell. The backbone of this study is a set of factual empirical assertions, what I call claims (C). These claims generate

-566-

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Torture and Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Torture and Democracy xxv
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Torture and Democracy 33
  • 1: Modern Torture and Its Observers 35
  • 2: Torture and Democracy 45
  • II - Remembering Stalinism and Nazism 65
  • 3: Lights, Heat, and Sweat 69
  • 4: Whips and Water 91
  • 5: Bathtubs 108
  • III - A History of Electric Stealth 121
  • 6: Shock 123
  • 7: Magnetos 144
  • 8: Currents 167
  • 9: Singing the World Electric 190
  • 10: Prods, Tasers, and Stun Guns 225
  • 11: Stun City 239
  • IV - Other Stealth Traditions 259
  • 12: Sticks and Bones 269
  • 13: Water, Sleep, and Spice 279
  • 14: Stress and Duress 294
  • 15: Forced Standing and Other Positions 316
  • 16: Fists and Exercises 334
  • 17: Old and New Restraints 347
  • 18: Noise 360
  • 19: Drugs and Doctors 385
  • V - Politics and Memory 403
  • 20: Supply and Demand for Clean Torture 405
  • 21: Does Torture Work? 446
  • 22: What the Apologists Say 480
  • 23: Why Governments Don't Learn 519
  • 24: The Great Age of Torture in Modern Memory 537
  • A - A List of Clean Tortures 553
  • B - Issues of Method 557
  • C - Organization and Explanations 566
  • D - A Note on Sources for American Torture During the Vietnam War 581
  • Notes 593
  • Selected Bibliography 781
  • Index 819
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