"A fractured meditation on the incompleteness and inadequacy of each possible response to collective atrocities," is how the author of this work describes what she has written, and it is an apt description. It is a beautiful book, written by a prominent legal scholar. Minow discusses a variety of responses to collective violence, ranging from trials and truth commissions to reparations and memorials. All of these fall somewhere on the range between vengeance and forgiveness. She argues, as has become the standard in the field of transitional justice, that proper legal and political responses to the injustices of the past will have to combine retributive and restorative measures in some way (the former tends to be focused on perpetators; the latter on victims.) The real significance of the book lies in its exploration of the impossible search for closure after catastrophic experiences.
Minow, Martha. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998. Print.
Minow, Martha, “Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence,” Legacies of the Enlightenment, accessed March 5, 2024, http://enlightenmentlegacies.org/items/show/92.