Review by Choice Review
That South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission embarked upon a noble undertaking is obvious enough. The intent to heal and unify a divided nation was laudable, to say the least. Yet, dissecting its work through hair-splitting judgments about the justice of amnesty for confession and remorse by offenders and the airing of victims' grievances and their forgiveness of perpetrators is troubling. The objective of reconciliation, after all, was not to punish all involved in the odiously unjust apartheid policy of South Africa's past, but to lay the foundation for a just, harmonious, unified nation for the future. The choice is not merely between justice and injustice for the past, but between justice to be sought for what has taken place and justice that the nation's future generations deserve. Retribution and restoration may indeed perpetuate hatred and division. Pursuing reconciliatory politics as a remedy for politics of violence ought to illustrate a lesson and a warning to ideologues, theocrats, and tyrants of all shades. Moon (sociology of human rights, London School of Economics) could have been more concise and thus more accessible. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. F. L. Mokhtari National Defense University
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