Cruel Britannia | Granta
  • Published: 04/07/2013
  • ISBN: 9781846273346
  • 130x20mm
  • 368 pages

Cruel Britannia

Ian Cobain

The official line is clear: the UK does not ‘participate in, solicit, encourage or condone’ torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when faced with potential threats to our national security, the gloves always come off. Drawing on previously unseen official documents, and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups and the equivocations, to get to the truth. From WWII to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland, Cruel Britannia shows how the British have repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, bending the law where they can, and issuing categorical denials all the while. What emerges is a picture of Britain that challenges our complacency and exposes the lie behind our reputation for fair play.

A brilliant book, written coolly and dispassionately by a reporter at the top of his game... I don't think I have read a better non-fiction book this year

John Sweeney, Literary Review

Cobain details not just British complicity in torture... but the longstanding practice of the thing itself, and the lies British politicians have always told, and are still telling, to cover it up... Shocking and persuasive

David Hare

Carefully researched and well-written... [Cobain] should be congratulated for addressing a subject which much of the rest of Fleet Street has been determined to ignore

Peter Osborne, Spectator

The Author

Ian Cobain was born in Liverpool in 1960. He has been a journalist since the early 1980s and was most recently an investigative reporter with the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK’s involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won two Amnesty International media awards. Cobain lives in London with his wife and two children.

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