This is an extraordinarily detailed and intriguing treatise on the history and intriguing treatise on the history and validity of torture, through every culture, era and continent in the world. From the earliest societies in Greece to modern-day usage, every aspect of torture is covered in this exhaustive volume.
Mannix writes about the most unthinkable acts of humankind. He covers specific torture devices-what they were and how they were used-and then often recounts several specific situations when the device was used and what the results were. Every society and age has "contributed" something to the legacy of torture and Mannix leaves nobody out. Whether it's the Aztecs who once sacrificed 70,000 people in one event, to the Australian penal colonies, he not only covers it but also relates the differences and similarities between the devices and methods employed. Just some of the groups covered are the Native Americans, the Nazis, the Europeans throughout every century, Africans, South Americans, the North American colonies, the Inquisition, modern-day police in every major country, Asians of every era and dynasty, Vikings, African-American slaves, and the witch trials. He makes careful notes of when a torture device was reused or modified in some way from society to society.