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"Tortured Thoughts" discusses Ruth First's career—from her detention and interrogation in 1963 in South Africa to her assassination in 1982—with reference to her academic appointments in Dar es Salaam in 1975 and in Maputo from 1979 to 1982. What effect did the constant threat of torture during her detention have on her later public practices as a committed historian, scholar, and investigative reporter over the two decades that distanced her interrogation and her assassination? In other words, how did the threat of torture "translate"? And what example does that translation of "tortured thoughts" set for another era's academic coming of age?