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47 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We do not do torture!
Ian Cobain's book is well written and confirms his assertions on British torture with cross references and Freedom of Information data. This book is a must for the open minded reader.
Published 19 months ago by welsh_webb

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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars poor empathy lets down a considered work
Two stars may seem harsh but I had difficulty reading this without some basic issues.

The term "interrogation" is banded about from the start without clarification - it covers everything from a willing chat to thumbscrews. But it appears the author likes the impact of it more.

A distinct lack of empathy for the times in the 40s, means that the...
Published 17 months ago by City gent


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sickening, 28 Jan 2013
By 
Michael Jenkins (glasgow United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
This is one of the best albeit most disturbing books I have ever read, read this book and see what our political masters, intelligence services and armed forces do in the name of "freedom" and the war on terror.

The medical professionals and members of the clergy who,while maybe not participating in torture and ill treatment of detainees should hang their heads in shame at their refusal or otherwise not to act in the face of overwhelming evidence about torture and extra judicial killings done in our name.

This is absolutely shameful, and Blair, Straw and Johnson et-al should be facing war crimes tribunals in the Hague.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, compelling and well-researched book, 6 Jan 2013
By 
Jecoco (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an important read for anyone following the current torture / Guantanamo / secret prison debate, particularly as regards British collusion with the US and other countries with poor human rights records. The writing style makes it easy to read, although the content can be upsetting. The Kindle formatting is good (I much prefer notes at the end of a chapter as they are here rather than at the end of the book). I do wish that more references were used, however. There are places where the author refers to certain works, legal decisions or facts without giving a quick citation which would be very helpful. Still, it's a five-star work and an impressive bit of research.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly researched, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
A very well researched book which covers the Second World War and after as well as many other important times up to the
present day.Some details I had known but there is so much more about the Armed Forces and Security Services.It's a
wonder that the Government did not ban it.
I am reccomending it to my friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What? Reviewed by Polly Harvey?!, 17 Nov 2013
By 
D. Parkin - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
Yes indeed - P.J. Harvey has endorsed this book! And, on a less luminous note, I am happy to do so too.
First off, this is a well researched and thoroughly depressing read.
It is full of wearying evidence of the deeds done in our name around the globe, and sad to report I was shocked by some of the content, but not at the fact that this was taking place. Hollywood is even coming around to presenting mainstream and state-sanctioned torture in films like Zero Dark Thirty.
The book attempts to shine a light on some of the darker aspects of our history in the years since the war, and it is a book that deserves to be widely read, but which will probably only garner a limited readership.
In the wake of such things as Hillsbrough and Orgreave, it does no harm to be reminded that there are wheels within wheels, and the book acts as a useful corrective to the information that we are fed by eye through the usual channels. The book is one that rewards the time that you are willing to invest in it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth Hurts, 27 Aug 2013
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Nobody could enjoy reading this book. It is a terrible commentary on the hypocrisy and pure cruelty which was, and to some extent still is, the establishment attitude.
However, it should not be forgotten that in the period dealt with, caning was a standard form of punishment both at home and abroad. Throughout much of Africa, the Middle and Far East it is still in regular use.
A distinction should be drawn between what was then seen as an appropriate means of punishing rule breakers and pure sadism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant, 10 Aug 2013
By 
GFK (Worcester) - See all my reviews
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While I wasn't surprised by the allegations in this book, I'm left furious that the Labour & ConDem governments have not been tried for complicity in War Crimes. A devastating read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an eye opening read!, 29 July 2013
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This was an excellent read overall.The parts about Northern Ireland and the Middle East are scarey and riveting! Not for the faint hearted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 13 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
Interesting read, specially when the British Government and the Media are constantly criticizing foreign governments for their infringements of human rights. Even if you believe half of what is exposed it is enough to make your stomach turn. If not for the violence inflicted on our citizens and others, then simply by HMG's, media's and politicians' hypocrisy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very important, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
Well researched book on a rare subject, that of Britain's willingness to torture people for the "good" of the state. Historians will find lacunae but this is an essential first step in uncovering these matters for the general reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So true to form, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Hardcover)
This book captured my imagination. The author writes with true grit and honesty. Surprisingly, I read this book on holiday, then two months after returning ti the UK, some of the claims were proved correct. Strange . . . . . .he must have done his research.
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Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture
Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture by Ian Cobain (Hardcover - 1 Nov 2012)
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