(Book Review) That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity by James Dawes

Biography (University of Hawaii Press), Vol. 31, No. 4, p. 748, Fall 2008

4 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2009 Last revised: 30 Dec 2009

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This review is a critical look of James Dawes rich book - That We May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity - which is a deeply insightful work about human rights advocates. This is a class of social actors that devote their life to “doing good.” These actors are driven by a myriad of motives and agendas, but they are at the core incurable idealists. However, the road they travel is not always objectively helpful to victims of human rights abuses. Nor are they themselves immune from despair and moral torment. What Dawes does is unlock the pathologies in the human rights universe and give us a window into the minds and lives of the actors in the field. There are few, if any, books written with the empathetic distance of this work.

Keywords: Despair, idealism, paradox, emotional intelligence, Rwanda genocide, Christian missionary, humanitarian law, Eurocentrism, purgatory

Suggested Citation

Mutua, Makau, (Book Review) That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity by James Dawes (2008). Biography (University of Hawaii Press), Vol. 31, No. 4, p. 748, Fall 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1527169

Makau Mutua (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

626 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716 645-2311 (Phone)

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