George W. Bush's war on terror defended torture as a matter of official policy and furthered an already emergent culture of cruelty. As torture became normalized in the Bush era, it not only corrupted American ideals and political culture, it also passed over to the dark side in sanctioning the unimaginable and unspeakable: the torture of children. This shocking book documents cases of child torture by American military personnel, many of which have never been reported in the media. Giroux raises serious challenges the Obama administration must address in light of this shameful period in American history if it wants to restore democratic culture. Going further than simply blaming those at the top, Hearts of Darkness also raises questions about the collusion of the media, educators, the criminal justice system and other institutions that have enabled a culture that accepts the torture of children.
“Hearts of Darkness is an unforgettable journey into the cruel and hard oversoul of America—a nation which tacitly sanctions governmental torture of children and eagerly devours increasing amounts of media violence. Giroux’s moral courage and compassion serves as a model of contemporary committed criticism, and a call to action for those stuck in the fog of national amnesia regarding the horrific acts done in the name of democracy. This book is required reading for anyone who cares about the future of America.”
–Jeffrey R. Di Leo, University of Huston - Victoria
“Giroux is one of our most acute social critics, and in Hearts of Darkness, he asks how American culture grew so callous and debased during the Bush years, why it became increasingly toxic for children, and more uncomfortably, why so much remains unchanged on Obama’s watch. This is a very thoughtful book.”
–Elliott Gorn, Departments of History and American Civilization, Brown University