Her ability to juxtapose prisons and monasteries, fear and peace is remarkable, and her graceful prose, which appears effortless, draws upon a wealth of research. This is history at its most effective: elegant, essential, and provocative. Those with an interest in prison reform should be particularly drawn to these thought-provoking pages.
Gently meandering ... Where one might expect a neat binarism between restorative and punitive silence, Brox skillfully resists depicting one as all good and the other as all bad, showing instead how silence designed to reform and redeem might instead oppress, and how silence designed to strip away attachments to ego and to temporal goods might also distill and reveal one’s character. Brox’s elegant, thoughtful survey of social deployments of silence introduces to readers the continuum of its potential harms and benefits.