Friends School of Minnesota parent James Dawes has a new book Evil Men coming out in April.

James Dawes will discuss Evil Men at Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 29, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. He will be joined by photographer Wing Young Huie.

Evil-Men-James-Dawes

“Presented with accounts of genocide and torture, we ask how people could bring themselves to commit such horrendous acts. A searching meditation on our all-too-human capacity for inhumanity, Evil Men confronts atrocity head-on—how it looks and feels, what motivates it, how it can be stopped.

Drawing on firsthand interviews with convicted war criminals from the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), James Dawes leads us into the frightening territory where soldiers perpetrated some of the worst crimes imaginable. Transcending conventional reporting and commentary, Dawes’s narrative weaves together unforgettable segments from the interviews with consideration of the troubling issues they raise. Telling the personal story of his journey to Japan, Dawes also lays bare the cultural misunderstandings and ethical compromises that at times called the legitimacy of his entire project into question. For this book is not just about the things war criminals do. It is about what it is like, and what it means, to befriend them.

Do our stories of evil deeds make a difference? Can we depict atrocity without sensational curiosity? Anguished and unflinchingly honest, as eloquent as it is raw and painful, Evil Men asks hard questions about the most disturbing capabilities human beings possess, and acknowledges that these questions may have no comforting answers.”  Harvard University Press

James Dawes is Professor of English and Director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism at Macalester College. More about James Dawes including a short video about his book Evil Men.