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Colleen Murphy's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Colleen Murphy recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Colleen Murphy's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Brothers of the Gun

A Memoir of the Syrian War

A bracingly immediate memoir by a young man coming of age during the Syrian war, Brothers of the Gun is an intimate lens on the century's bloodiest conflict and a profound meditation on kinship, home, and freedom.

"This powerful memoir, illuminated with Molly Crabapple's extraordinary art, provides a rare lens through which we can see a region in deadly conflict."--Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

In 2011, Marwan Hisham and his two friends--fellow working-class college students Nael and Tareq--joined the first protests of the Arab Spring...
Recommended by Colleen Murphy, and 1 others.

Colleen MurphyHisham writes about the area that he lived in going from being under control of the government to under control of the rebels to under control by Isis; citizens just lived day to day, not even thinking long term about what could happen a week from tomorrow. (Source)

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PWhat happens when a legal system is replaced overnight by its ideological opposite? When people used to being coddled and disciplined by their law have to adjust to a State which expects them to look out for themselves? When men and women trained to serve and to legitimate their political system have to explain their complicity in its corruption? And when in this process of national soul-searching it is the Western victors alone who may ask all the questions? When the Wall collapsed, all questions could be asked, but speed was of the essence. Memories were fresh and eyewitnesses, still... more
Recommended by Colleen Murphy, and 1 others.

Colleen MurphyTells us about the ripple effects that transitions have on different areas of law and on ordinary citizens, citizens who may not have been perpetrators of wrongdoing but are nonetheless affected by transitions. (Source)

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This book rethinks how people who perpetrate atrocity crimes should be punished. Based on an 'on the ground' review of the sentencing of perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Bosnia, East Timor, and other places afflicted by atrocity, this book concludes that the international community's preference for prosecution and imprisonment may not be as effective as we hope. Instead, this book calls for a broader-based response to atrocity that welcomes bottom-up perspectives, including restorative, reparative, and reintegrative traditions, that may differ from the... more
Recommended by Colleen Murphy, and 1 others.

Colleen MurphyBrings into focus the role of international law, international institutions, and international actors, which are increasingly very influential in shaping domestic decisions about transitional justice. (Source)

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Recommended by Colleen Murphy, Jessica Stern, and 2 others.

Colleen MurphyGobodo-Madikizela gives invaluable insight into the psychology of perpetrators, the psychological impacts on victims of horrific atrocities, and how we think about possibilities for moving forward as a community post-atrocity. (Source)

Jessica SternThis is a complicated and moving book about the nature of good and evil. Pumla is a South African psychologist who spent a lot of time in prison interviewing people like Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned apartheid death squads. He is currently serving 212 years in jail for crimes against humanity. He directed ‘the blood, the bodies and the killing’ against apartheid’s... (Source)

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Transitional Justice

At the century's end, societies all over the world are throwing off the yoke of authoritarian rule and beginning to build democracies. At any such time of radical change, the question arises: should a society punish its ancien regime or let bygones be bygones? Transitional Justice takes this question to a new level with an interdisciplinary approach that challenges the very terms of the contemporary debate.

Ruti Teitel explores the recurring dilemma of how regimes should respond to evil rule, arguing against the prevailing view favoring punishment, yet contending that the law...
Recommended by Colleen Murphy, and 1 others.

Colleen MurphyIt’s a classic. It was the book that set the agenda, the questions that scholars and practitioners continue to grapple with today. (Source)

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