Book Review: Monstering by Tara McKelvey

Shortly after you sit down with Monstering by Tara McKelvey (Carroll & Graf), you will begin to feel the hairs on your arms stand on end and a persistent urge to look over your shoulder. It is a story so disturbing-filled with rape, sadomasochism, and blatant abuses of power-you want to stop reading, but you can't. A 336-page rendering of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, Monstering includes exclusive details that explain how some American troops went from liberators to torturers over the course of 18 months.

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McKelvey, a contributing editor at Marie Claire, the first U.S. journalist to interview female prisoners held at Abu Ghraib, and the first reporter to witness damning videotapes made by the soldiers, weaves firsthand accounts of premeditated violence into a gripping, hard-to-stomach narrative. McKelvey's reporting might have come at a steep price: Shortly after two Iraqi prisoners from Abu Ghraib broke their silence in interviews with her in Amman, Jordan, they were murdered.

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