A grand and scary tour of inquisitorial moments, racing back and forth in history from Torquemada to Dick Cheney (Adam Gopnik New Yorker)
Witty ... deeply serious ... incisive (Patricia Cohen New York Times)
From the Back Cover
Established by the Catholic Church in 1231, the Inquisition continued in one form or another for almost seven hundred years. Though associated with the persecution of heretics and Jews and with burning at the stake its targets were more numerous and its techniques more ambitious. The Inquisition pioneered surveillance, censorship, and scientific interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantanamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, the acclaimed writer Cullen Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy, showing that not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, but in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever.
With the combination of vivid immediacy and learned analysis that characterized his acclaimed Are We Rome?, Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past and argues that only by understanding the Inquisition can we hope to explain the making of the present.
Entertaining and formidably smart. Bloomberg.com
Cullen Murphy masterfully traces the social, legal and political evolution of the Inquisition and the inquisitorial process from its origins in late-medieval Christian France to its eerily familiar, secular cousin in the modern world. San Francisco Chronicle