by Kristian Williams
Hurst is Portland activist Kristian Williams' collection of articles and interviews on the history, psychology, and current state of torture in democratic societies. Williams, author of Our Enemies in Blue and American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination, has pulled together a vast and comprehensive resource on this abominable act. Articles include David Cunningham's “Prisons, Torture, and Imperialism,” a piece on the anarchist perspective taken from comments at the 2008 Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco, and a great essay on writing about torture, among many others.
This sober 64-page document is a heavy piece of work—dark, informative, and oft times harrowing. But it's also about working hard to enact change. As says Williams in the Gyozo Nehez interview, “At the outset, I think it's more important to have a sense of hope, that things can be different and through our actions we can contribute to that change. The joy comes later, from struggle itself as much as from victory.” Hurt is a how-to manual on fighting and understanding torture—a piece of the struggle itself.