Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John Conroy  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: March 29, 1951 in LaSpezia, Italy

-- Website --
-- John Conroy on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

John Conroy lives in a Chicago suburb.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life
ISBN: 0807002178

Beacon Press. 1995

Resolution of intractable problems around the world requires understanding ordinary people as well as leaders. This street-level view of Northern Ireland provides the best explanation of the twenty-five-year conflict.

Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture
ISBN: 0520230396

University of California Press. 2001

Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People is a riveting book that exposes the potential in each of us for acting unspeakably. John Conroy sits down with torturers from several nations and comes to understand their motivations. His compelling narrative has the tension of a novel. He takes us into a Chicago police station, two villages in the West Bank, and a secret British interrogation center in Northern Ireland, and in the process we are exposed to the experience of the victim, the rationalizations of the torturer, and the seeming indifference of the bystander. The torture occurs in democracies that ostensibly value justice, due process, and human rights, and yet the perpetrators and their superiors escape without punishment, revealing much about the dynamics of torture.


Carl Sandburg Literary Award for, Belfast Diary. The Friends of Literature Award for best nonfiction book of 1987. The Society of Midland Authors Award for best nonfiction book of 1987.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)