When Sorry Isn't Enough

The Controversy Over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice

536 pages

June, 1999

ISBN: 9780814713327

$28

Paper

Also available in

Subjects:

LawHistoryPolitical Science

Part of the Critical America series

Author

Roy L. Brooks is Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and author, most recently, of Critical Procedure and Integration or Separation?: A Strategy for Racial Equality.

All books by Roy L. Brooks

Seemingly every week, a new question arises relative to the current worldwide ferment over human injustices. Why does the U.S. offer $20,000 atonement money to Japanese Americans relocated to concentration camps during World War II, while not even apologizing to African Americans for 250 years of human bondage and another century of institutionalized discrimination? How can the U.S. and Canada best grapple with the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans on which their countries were founded? How should Japan make amends to Korean "comfort women" sexually enslaved during World War II? Why does South Africa deem it necessary to grant amnesty to whites who tortured and murdered blacks under apartheid? Is Germany's highly praised redress program, which has paid billions of dollars to Jews worldwide, a success, and, as such, an example for others?

More generally, is compensation for a historical wrong dangerous "blood money" that allows a nation to wash its hands forever of its responsibility to those it has injured?

A rich collection of essays from leading scholars, pundits, activists, and political leaders the world over, many written expressly for this volume, When Sorry Isn't Enough also includes the voices of the victims of some of the world's worst atrocities, thereby providing a panoramic perspective on an international controversy often marked more by heat than reason.

Reviews

  • "Not only provides a neat blend of scholarship, but it also focuses on a topic that is (or should be) of vital importance to human rights."

    Human Rights Quarterly