Marcel Berlins

Aye for an Eye for an Eye

Payback: The Case for Revenge

By

University of Chicago Press 314pp £18 order from our bookshop

President Bush, about to launch his country’s retaliation a few weeks after 9/11, was adamant that ‘ours is a nation that does not seek revenge, but we do seek justice’. Was that really true of the American people? Did they make that distinction? Of course not. They wanted to kill the bastards responsible for planning the massacre or in any way associated with it. They wanted revenge. If Bush had been honest, he would not have hidden behind the vague, multipurpose weasel word ‘justice’.

The glib ‘justice, not revenge’ mantra is not confined to leaders of nations. It has spread to the tragically bereaved and to victims of dreadful crimes. To ensure that their motives are seen to be of the highest ethical order, fathers of murdered daughters and women who have undergone vicious rape frequently

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,