Unspeakable Truths: The Place for Truth Commissions in a Changing World

Unspeakable Truths is a profound, definitive exploration of truth commissions around the world, and the anguish, injustice, and the legacy of hate they are meant to absolve. After years of political turmoil, repression, and murder, then what? Truth commissions-official investigations into government crimes and misconduct are the only medicine a new government has to cure the diseases of the old regime. In Unspeakable Truths , world renowned expert Priscilla Hayner examines the twenty major truth commissions established around the world, paying special attention to South Africa, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala. As she explores the inner workings of these tribunals, Hayner finds that victims are torn between the need to remember and the need to forget. In the new post-Cold War order, the future of democracy and peace may rest on this debate. Unspeakable Truths moves through the murders, disappearances, and tragedies that characterized corrupt regimes like those of Idi Amin or August Pinochet, but Hayner handles these issues with grace and subtlety, using these stories and others to shine a light on the triumphs and shortcomings of past commissions.