Source: (2007) New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.

"...Charles L. Griswold has written the first comprehensive philosophical book on forgiveness in both its interpersonal and political contexts, as well as its relation to reconciliation. Having examined the place of forgiveness in ancient philosophy and in modern thought, he discusses what forgiveness is, what conditions the parties to it must meet, its relation to revenge and hatred, when it is permissible and whether it is obligatory, and why it is a virtue. He considers "the unforgivable," as well as perplexing notions such as self-forgiveness, forgiving on behalf of others, and unilateral forgiveness, while also illuminating the associated phenomena of pardon, mercy, amnesty, excuse, compassion, and apology. Griswold argues that forgiveness (unlike apology) is inappropriate in politics and analyzes the nature and limits of political apology with reference to historical examples (including Truth and Reconciliation Commissions). The book concludes with an examiniation of the relation between memory, narrative, and truth. The backdrop to the whole discussion is our inextinguishable aspiration for reconciliation in the face of an irredeemably imperfect world." (publisher's description)