Book Reviews: Human Rights and Wrongs by Adrianne Aron, Ph.D.

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Human Rights and Wrongs: Reluctant Heroes Fight Tyranny

Human Rights and Wrongs demonstrates how the strictures of “professionalism” can limit the effectiveness of psychological expression. Aron and her colleagues are liberating her profession by telling the story, under oath, in Federal Immigration Court.

In the fashion of Eduardo Galeano, the story can absolve the victim and leave the perpetrator self-condemned. This style can be troublesome for domesticated professionals since it identifies the state terror of their government. No American exceptionalism here. The self-condemned are not  “a few bad apples,” nor do they represent a “tragic mistake.” The foreign policy is consistent and international. This study by Adrianne Aron ends with a true story and a metaphor. She remembers being lost in the Yosemite Valley. That memory represents the many people lost in our criminal justice system and ICE. What she does not say is the unspoken truth that she also represents a holy helicopter rescuing the dispossessed lost in the forest.

— Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., Director, Office of the Americas

Combining the qualities of a psychologist, a political activist, and a skilled writer, the author draws the reader close to individuals’ experiences while informing the reader about recent histories of governmental violence. In other words, Human Rights and Wrongs teaches the reader both compassion and justice.

— Tom F. Driver, The Paul J. Tillich Professor of Theology and Culture Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary

A clever joker once said, “I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.” I, as a mental health professional, dream of one where psychologists will understand why Ernesto Cruz drinks himself into a stupor, why Eva refuses to speak about what happened to her in Honduras, why Mrs. Malek is afraid to return to Afghanistan. In a collection of serious yet entertaining human interest stories, Adrianne Aron’s Human Rights and Wrongs engages the general reader while inspiring psychologists to think outside the box.

— Shawn Corne, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Albany, California

​​Throughout the book the author provides gems and nuggets of hope highlighting the power of story. The ideas are powerful and challenge the reader to examine the resilience of the human spirit and our relationship to others as human beings.​ ​

— Hugo Kamya, Ph.D., Professor, Fulbright Scholar, Simmons College School of Social Work

Every page I read took me to thousands of stories I’ve heard and at times felt I’d lived myself. Each page gave me pause, because there was so much tied together there, and so much rope that it could choke you, take your breath away, make you want to scream, and send you looking for matches to burn down the courts that were designed to defend slavery, colonialism, and the capitalist system.

Human Rights and Wrongs should be required reading for law students and psychologists.

En cada pagina que leía me transportaba a un millar de historias que he oido y que aveces las he sentido como si yo las había vivido. Cada pagina se me hizo largas semana pues había tanto que atar cabos  y que tambien de tanto atar puedes quedar ahorcado, perder la respiración y con una sensación de pegar un grito y buscar fósforos y quemar la corte que solo fue diseñada para defender la esclavitud, colonialismo y el sistema capitalista.

— Felix Kury, Program Director, Clínica Martín-Baró, San Francisco State University, U.C. San Francisco


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