We recommend this exposition and analysis, both literary and social, by Vermont lawyer Steve Saltonstall. It's about an hour long, packed with information and sensible reflection on the ways that acts of cruelty can be made to seem noble and glorious.
Travis Marker Court - YouTube
The case at hand is Harper Lee's famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and its social context and continuing reverberations. But the argument could just as well apply to the torturers for freedom in Abu Ghraib or Guantánamo, or the heroic (in their own eyes) and pious sadists of the military regimes in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in the 1980s, and too many other cases to name.