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I, You, We, Them

UK Publisher: Random House
US Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A landmark historical investigation into crimes against humanity and the nature of evil that is over two decades in the making.


‘The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.’  Hannah Arendt

I You We Them is a study of the psychology of some of the least visible perpetrators of crimes against humanity, the ‘desk killers’ who ordered and directed some of the worst atrocities of the last two hundred years. It is also an exploration of corporate responsibility and personal culpability today, connecting the bureaucratic blindness that created desk killing to the same moral myopia that exists now in the calm, clean offices of global capitalism.

It is a journal of discovery, based on decades of research, interviews with hundreds of participants, and extensive first-hand experience. It encompasses extended investigations into a number of specific cases, moving from the brutalities of Empire to the scorched oil fields of the Niger Delta, from the industrial complex of Auschwitz to the empty sites of the Bosnian genocide; bearing witness, recording, and attempting to understand.

It is a synthesis of history, reportage and memoir, a sustained meditation on the nature of responsibility and injustice, and a book that will change the way we think about our past, present and future.


‘Meticulous, clinical and sobering, a shockingly important and incisive book.’ — David Olusoga

I You We Them is a uniquely gripping journey around the landscapes of mass murder.’ — Phillipe Sands

‘This remarkably powerful book entails a dogged and worldwide pursuit of ‘the desk-killer’, the government functionary or business executive whose decisions so often cost human lives. The model of this remote-control assassin is Hitler’s architect Albert Speer, but the German story is subsumed in a far more compelling and modern investigation of the collective amnesia which so often operates in the telling of national histories, including our own.’ — Mark Cocker ― Spectator, Books of the Year 2019

Dan Gretton is a writer, activist and teacher. In 1983 he co-founded the pioneering political arts organisation Platform, in Cambridge,...