By Woody Holton
Publish yr note: First released in 2009
Winner of the Bancroft Prize
The manhattan instances ebook Review, Editor's Choice
American history, better of 2009
In this bright new biography of Abigail Adams, the main illustrious girl of the founding period, Bancroft Award--winning historian Woody Holton deals a sweeping reinterpretation of Adams's existence tale and of women's roles within the production of the republic.
Using formerly ignored records from a variety of data, Abigail Adams indicates that the spouse of the second one president of the USA was once way more charismatic and influential than historians have discovered. one of many most interesting writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women's schooling, denounced intercourse discrimination, and paired wits not just along with her significant husband, John, yet with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. while male Patriots neglected her well-known entice "Remember the Ladies," she finished her personal own assertion of independence: Defying centuries of laws that assigned married women's estate to their husbands, she collected a fortune in her personal name.
Adams's lifestyles tale encapsulates the historical past of the founding period, for she outlined herself on the subject of the folks she enjoyed or hated (she was once by no means neutral), a solid of characters that integrated her mom and sisters; Benjamin Franklin and James Lovell, her husband's bawdy congressional colleagues; Phoebe Abdee, her father's former slave; her financially naïve husband; and her son John Quincy.
At as soon as epic and intimate, Abigail Adams, sheds mild on a sophisticated, interesting girl, essentially the most cherished figures of yank background.
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In such displays, the boundary between seduction and revulsion is surprisingly ﬂuid. S. soldiers, repulsed the American public. But aestheticized portrayals of torture in ﬁlm and television attracted mass audiences and built political support for use of harsh methods whose reality was shown in those same Abu Ghraib photos. Although seemingly less brutal than physical techniques, psychological torture has proven emotionally destructive, inﬂicting deep trauma and lasting emotional scars. Indeed, the early experiments in sensory deprivation elicited the behavior one would expect of someone undergoing torture.
Placing this history in a comparative perspective raises some disconcerting historical parallels. In the long wind-down of their global empires, both Britain and France used torture to contain anticolonial resistance, producing scandals that delegitimated their imperial rule. ” Similarly, in its long imperial recessional, Great Britain also used torture—sporadically in Malaya, systematically in Aden and Kenya, and scandalously in Northern Ireland—ﬁnding in each case that exposé weakened the moral legitimacy of its cause.
By contrast, the CIA’s psychological paradigm fused two new methods, the sensory disorientation discovered by Hebb and the self-inﬂicted pain documented by Cornell researchers, in a combination that would, in theory, cause victims to feel responsible for their own suﬀering and feel subservient to their inquisitors. Reﬁned over the next forty years, the CIA’s method came to rely on a mix of sensory overload and sensory deprivation via the manipulation of seemingly banal factors—heat and cold, light and dark, noise and silence, feast and famine—all meant to attack the ﬁve essential sensory pathways into the human mind.
Abigail Adams by Woody Holton