In the news…

by Joshua on October 18, 2010

  • Phillips helped produced this video short for Reveal, featuring a veteran in the book who who reckoned with torture through sculpture, and used it to honor his friend — a fellow combat medic who tried to report detainee abuse and torture (also a central figure in the book).

  • Phillips reported on a radio feature for Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting, about an Army medic who tried to report abuse and torture, and its devastating impact on him (expanding upon one of the core stories in the book). Click  the clip below to listen to the full feature:

  • Phillips published an essay for Reveal on the background of a photograph featuring prisoner abuse, mentioned in the book, and its significance.  Click here to read the full essay.
  • The Military Review published a review about the book,  writing that, “None of Us Were Like This Before will endure as war literature…It should also be essential reading for foreign policy makers, military historians, mental health professionals, military policemen, and interrogators.”
  • HuffPost Live featured Phillips and the book on a web show about the effects of detainee abuse and torture on US soldiers.
  • Author Thomas Ricks featured the book in his Foreign Policy blog, The Best Defense.
  • The Independent published a review of the book, writing that, “Phillips argues persuasively that widespread prisoner abuse, while not always official policy, has been enabled by the willful blindness of senior military figures, and shows that torture is not just a moral outrage, but also a self-defeating practice that exacts a huge psychological toll on those who inflict it…  Phillips’ razor-sharp book cuts into…euphemisms to reveal the ugly truths they disguise.”
  • Phillips published the article “Talking torture in Tampere and Tacoma” for Latitude News about how disperate audience respond to the book, and Phillips’ talks about it, in the U.S. and overseas.
  • TruthOut produced a web video and feature about None of Us Were Like This Before.
  • The Seattle / KUOW show, Weekday, interviewed Phillips about the book and veterans issues.  Click here to listen to the full interview, and here to see the web post about the program.
  • The Finnish paper Kansan Uutiset wrote an article about the book (in Finnish) and the enduring legacy of of prisoner abuse, its impact on veterans, and the ongoing impunity for torture.
  • The Swedish paper Arbetaren Zenit just published a feature and Q&A (in Swedish) about the None of Us Were Like This Before
  • The Finnish News Agency (STT) produced an article (in Finnish) about the book and Phillips’s investigative reporting on prisoner abuse and torture.
  • Gulf News published a great review about None of Us Were Like This Before, and profile about Phillips’s journey producing the book. Alice Johnson writes that the book is a “brave journalistic examination… Written and researched over a period of five years, None of Us Were Like This Before took Phillips to [the Middle East] and Afghanistan to undertake first-hand reporting. An important, shocking book that takes a fresh, in-depth look at how and why detainee abuse was carried out by American forces abroad.”
  • Talking of Books, a UAE-based radio show, broadcast an interview with Phillips about None of Us Were Like This Before.
  • The New Left Project published an excellent in-depth interview about the book.  Click here to read Part I, and here to read Part II.
  • Phillips wrote an article for The Nation magazine, titled “Inside the Detainee Task Force” (the May 30, 2011 edition), that expands upon parts of the book.

Play the clip below to watch the video…

  • Firedoglake produced a wide-ranging interview about The Nation and PBS Need to Know features on the Detainee Abuse Task Force for their podcast show, “This Week in WikiLeaks.” Listen to Part I and and Part II of the interview, and read the Part I and Part II of the transcript.
  • Scott Horton posted a generous write up about The Nation investigation for his “No Comment” / Harper’s magazine blog.
  • The Chicago-based radio show, “This is Hell” on WNUR  89.3 FM, broadcast a radio interview about the book, and Phillips’s recent article in The Nation.
  • WNPR’s The Faith Middleton Show interviewed Phillips about the book, and the debates over torture.
  • Veterans for Common Sense produced an excellent review about the book saying, “Phillips’ book remains the first and best heartbreaking tale not only of the abuses taking place within our military prisons, but also the negative, long term and in many cases fatal psychological effects it is having on both interrogating soldiers and interrogated enemy prisoners of war.  This book gets a top rating because of the valuable facts about torture collected from invaluable sources. The material is urgent and profound.  This book should become an necessary read for all, as well as an essential tool for mental health professionals seeking to aid soldiers and veterans as well as survivors.”
  • FOX 34 produced a television spot and article about the book, and Phillips’ appearance at Texas Tech University’s “Conference on Torture.”
  • New America Now / New America Media produced a great interview about the book, and broadcast it on KALW in San Francisco on March 11, 2011.
  • KZBK and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle produced a terrific interview and article about the book and Phillips’s talks in Bozeman, MT.
  • Gulf News published a great interview about the book, writing that it is “a fascinating yet distressing account of how the use of torture and abusive techniques on prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan affected the lives of American soldiers who found themselves caught up in it.”
  • The Belfast Telegraph’s Eamonn McCann just selected None of Us Were Like Before as one of his top five books of the year, writing that the book is “is a tour de force of investigative journalism…a vivid account.”
  • Guernica magazine published a very generous Q&A and write up about the book, saying None of Us Were Like This Before is “a masterwork of narrative nonfiction.”  Click here to read the full article or click here to read a shorter excerpt of the interview published by the Overseas Press Club of America.
  • The London Review of Books published a long, rave review about the book, writing, “Phillips shows that the recourse to blaming a ‘few bad apples’ should be recognised as a disgraceful, face-saving fiction.”
  • The Independent published a great review of the book, writing “This is an important book showing the damage abuse does to the torturers as well as to their victims…Phillips’s message is that we most need the rules banning torture when we most want to break them.”
  • Counterfire published a terrific review of the book, writing, “the causes and consequences of systematic abuse and torture are all explored by Joshua Phillips through a careful but searing narrative.”
  • The Danish Broadcasting Corporation (the Danish version of NPR or BBC) broadcast an interview about the book, and a Danish version of the radio documentary, What Killed Sergeant Gray.  Click here to listen to the interview and documentary (in Danish) and here to visit the webpage.
  • Counterfire published five extracts of the book on its website. Click here to read a section from the Introduction, and excerpts from Chapter 2 here, here,  here, and here.

Please visit the EVENTS and REVIEWS pages for more interviews, author appearances, and book reviews.

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It seems each day brings heartbreaking news of American soldiers who’ve perished on the battlefield, and veterans who’ve taken their own lives. We tend to associate wartime trauma with combat, such as bloody firefights. But there are other grueling wartime events beyond the battlefield.

President Barack Obama recognized this last month when he extended veterans’ access for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war,” said Obama.

That makes two of us.

Read the full article here:

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SELECTED AS ONE OF THE TOP BOOKS on violence by FiveBooks

July 22, 2010

Award-winning author and noted torture expert Darius Rejali selected None of Us Were Like This Before as one of the top books on violence for, writing that “it is a really important book on atrocity-related trauma and the blow-back effect from Iraq … There are many things in this book that are fascinating and […]

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Now Available

May 21, 2010

“This shattering book is a journey into the heart of American darkness. What Joshua Phillips makes shockingly clear is that the misbehavior of some of our best soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan came about because of a failure of military leadership and because political leaders lacked the courage to admit the word ‘torture.’”     […]

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