How countries recover from political atrocity is a question that has confronted dozens of regimes around the world for decades. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an iconic symbol of what for some is a profound achievement in restructuring a "peaceful society." In "Transforming Societies After Political Violence: Truth, Reconciliation, and Mental Health" Dr. Brandon Hamber applies his many years of experience both within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and beyond it to a careful analysis of the complex issues - legal, historical, social, psychological - embedded in such a process. It is his astute attention to these complexities that make his book so rich. Hamber says that "if the TRC process and working with the victims appearing before it taught me anything it was that the psychological life of the survivor of extreme violence is cut through by this complexity." His work is clear testimony to that statement. "Transforming Societies After Political Violence" is a valuable resource for researchers, practitioners, scholars and policy makers. If you read one book about countries emerging from their violent pasts, it should be Dr. Brandon Hamber's "Transforming Societies After Political Violence." I will rely on this volume in my ongoing work and I predict it will become a definitive text in this area.
Nina K. Thomas, Ph.D., ABPP,
Chair, Specialization in Trauma and Disaster Studies, NYU Postodoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Co-Chair, Relational Orientation, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis