‘Cruel and unuseful punishment’ – a review of ‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work’ in Science by Richard McNally

My book Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation (Harvard University Press) is reviewed by Richard McNally in Science today.

Some quotes:

Praising the book’s rigor, depth, and clarity, reviewer Richard J. McNally delves into the scientific evidence against enhanced interrogation techniques.

And

“…the assumption underlying the ticking time bomb defense is that abusive questioning reliably causes people to reveal truthful information that they would otherwise refuse to disclose. Few scholars have scrutinized this assumption—and none with the rigor, depth, and clarity of Shane O’Mara in his excellent book, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation.”

McNally authored Remembering Trauma, one of most important and consequential books on memory, because of its unusual and central focus: ‘Are horrific experiences indelibly fixed in a victim’s memory? Or does the mind protect itself by banishing traumatic memories from consciousness? How victims remember trauma is the most controversial issue in psychology today, spilling out of consulting rooms and laboratories to capture headlines, rupture families, provoke legislative change, and influence criminal trials and civil suits. This book, by a clinician who is also a laboratory researcher, is the first comprehensive, balanced analysis of the clinical and scientific evidence bearing on this issue—and the first to provide definitive answers to the urgent questions at the heart of the controversy.

Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist

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