Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain

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His excellent book will, I hope, educate us all.


The official line is clear: the UK does not 'participate in, solicit, encourage or condone' torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when it comes to dealing with potential threats to our national security, the gloves always come off. As the enquiries into the on-going abuse of terror suspects uncover an ever more sinister and unpalatable chain of complicity - going right to the top of government - it is time to re-examine the assumption that the British don't 'do' torture. Drawing on previously unseen official documents, and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups and the attempts to dismiss brutality as the work of a few rogue interrogators, to reveal a secret and shocking record of torture. From WWII to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland, Cruel Britannia shows how the British have repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, turning a blind eye where necessary, bending the law where they can, and issuing categorical denials all the while. What emerges is a picture of Britain that challenges our complacency on human rights and exposes the lie behind our reputation for fair play.

About Ian Cobain

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Ian Cobain was born in Liverpool in 1960. He has been a journalist since the early 1980s and is currently an investigative reporter with the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK's involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. This is his first book.
Published January 1, 2012 by Portobello Books Ltd.
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, War, Law & Philosophy.
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Critic reviews for Cruel Britannia
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Clive Stafford Smith on Nov 23 2012

His excellent book will, I hope, educate us all.

Read Full Review of Cruel Britannia | See more reviews from Guardian


Below average
Reviewed by John Kampfner on Nov 03 2012

The result? Nothing much. The lack of outcry to the issues raised in Cobain's book speaks volumes.

Read Full Review of Cruel Britannia | See more reviews from Guardian

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