Drawing on rich narratives of politics and violence and war from around the world and written by one of the world's leading writers, Stripping Bare the Body is a moral history of American power during the last quarter century. From bloody battleground to dark prison cell to air-conditioned office, it tells the grim and compelling tale of the true final years of the American Century, as the United States passed from the violent certainties of the late Cold War, to the ideological confusions of the post-Cold War world, to the pumped up and ongoing evangelism of the War on Terror and the Iraq War, and the ruins they have left behind.
Moving from mass murder on election day in Port-au-Prince, to massacre by mortar bomb on the streets of Sarajevo to suicide bombing in the suburban neighborhoods of Baghdad, to torture in the secret "black site" prisons of Thailand and Afghanistan, to the political deal making, personal rivalries and bureaucratic infighting in Washington and New York and Langley, Stripping Bare the Body shows the considerations of a wide range of policymakers, and the minute effects their decisions, and their mistakes, have on people in distant places and on Americans as they live and work in "the indispensable nation." Here is the vivid, unforgettable history of what Mark Danner calls a "grim age, still infused with the remnant perfume of imperial dreams." - From the book jacket
"The publication of Stripping Bare the Body is a timely act of public service and a literary event, bringing together Mark Danner's luminously intelligent and engaging narratives and stories from the world's war zones…they are both a moral history of America's engagement with the world over the last generation and an account of a twenty-three years' journey through hell on earth by an ideal observer: Danner is endowed with a passion for truth, great physical courage, a muscular writing style, and a heart as big as a barn."
- from the Foreword by Louis Begley, author of
Wartime Lies and Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters
"There's probably no one alive who understands political conflict and upheaval better than Mark Danner, and there is almost certainly no one who writes more eloquently about it. Stripping Bare the Body is an unmitigated masterpiece of reporting and analysis."
- Dave Eggers, author of Zeitoun and What Is the What
"The publication of Mark Danner's Stripping Bear the Body is a big deal -- an event. Why? Because Danner's writing over the past three decades, taken together, forms a definitive, and absolutely riveting, chronicle of the dark side of the post-cold-war world, from Haiti to Abu Ghraib and beyond. No other writer we have combines brilliant and courageous reporting with brilliant and courageous political and moral thinking as Danner does. He is also, first and last, a breathtakingly good writer. For anyone who cares about the fate of our foreign policy and our republic and, indeed, the human condition, Stripping Bare the Body is a touchstone book. "
- Michael Pollan, author, The Botany of Desire, The
Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food
"Mark Danner has truly chronicled what Conrad, in Heart of Darkness, called 'the dark places of the earth,' some of which are uncomfortably close to home. He has returned with tales to tell that are vivid, eloquent, heartbreaking and show a steady moral compass. This extraordinary book will long endure, and should be bedside reading for President Obama."
- Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and
Bury the Chains
"With this vivid and deeply disturbing book, Mark Danner affirms his standing as our preeminent guide to the world's broken places, littered with the detritus of American carelessness and delusions."
- Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power:
The End of American Exceptionalism
"Mark Danner is leading journalism's improbable Renaissance -- showing, page after page, that the elegantly reasoned argument, supported by indisputable facts and presented with passion and ingenuity, can still hone ideals into a sharp sword of action. This book is must-reading for anyone who hopes to understand our era of peril and possibility."
- Ron Suskind, Pulitzer-prize winner and author,
The Way of the World
Tags: Haiti | Balkans | War on Terror | Iraq | Foreign Affairs | Stripping Bare the Body