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Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

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Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

National Book Award winner and renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton reveals a world at risk from millennial cults intent on ending it all.

Since the earliest moments of recorded history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only in the nuclear age has it been possible for a megalomaniac guru with a world-ending vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Now Robert Jay Lifton offers a vivid and disturbing case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a modern millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru Shoko Asahara (charismatic spiritual leader, con man, madman) created a religion from a global stew of New Age thinking, ancient rituals, and apocalyptic science fiction, then recruited scientists as disciples and set them to producing weapons of mass destruction. Taking stock as well of Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists may be able to bring about their own holocausts.

Bold and compelling, Destroying the World to Save It charts the emergence of a new global threat of urgent concern to us all.

A distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Jay Lifton is the author of many works, including The Nazis' Doctors, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Death in Life, winner of the National Book Award.

Since earliest history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only the nuclear age has enabled a megalomaniac guru with an apocalyptic vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Robert Jay Lifton offers a case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru created a religion from a global stew of new age thinking, ancient rituals, and science fiction, then recruited scientists to produce weapons of mass destruction. Also discussing Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists are able to bring about their own holocausts.

"A mesmerizing story told with consummate skill. Robert Jay Lifton's stunning analysis provides a cautionary tale of our timesnothing less than a window on the fragile and imperiled world we face in the twenty-first century."John Dower, author of Embracing Defeat, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"A fascinating (if frightening) investigation . . . A valuable aid to understanding the old problem of fanaticism in a new, particularly sinister form . . . Ingenious."Daniel Berger, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Robert Jay Lifton sounds a chilling alarm about an invisible new Grendel stalking the human race."Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle

"An unflinching confrontation, infused with hope."Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature

"Lifton is at his best in explaining the mixed-up feeling of Asahara's disciples, the confusion that led them to obey the guru or rationalize what he did."Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times Book Review

"As with all of Lifton's reflections on politics and psychology, this one has many powerful and compelling insights . . . Truly hair raising."Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"Disturbing . . . Sounds somber warning bells."Anthony Day, Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

Since earliest history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only the nuclear age has enabled a megalomaniac guru with an apocalyptic vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Robert Jay Lifton offers a case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.<P>With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru created a religion from a global stew of new age thinking, ancient rituals, and science fiction, then recruited scientists to produce weapons of mass destruction. Also taking stock of Charles Manson. Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists are able to bring about their own holocausts.

Synopsis:

National Book Award winner and renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton reveals a world at risk from millennial cults intent on ending it all.

Since the earliest moments of recorded history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only in the nuclear age has it been possible for a megalomaniac guru with a world-ending vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Now Robert Jay Lifton offers a vivid and disturbing case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a modern millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru Shoko Asahara (charismatic spiritual leader, con man, madman) created a religion from a global stew of New Age thinking, ancient rituals, and apocalyptic science fiction, then recruited scientists as disciples and set them to producing weapons of mass destruction. Taking stock as well of Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists may be able to bring about their own holocausts.

Bold and compelling, Destroying the World to Save It charts the emergence of a new global threat of urgent concern to us all.

About the Author

A distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Jay Lifton is the author of many important works, including The Nazis' Doctors, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Death in Life, winner of the National Book Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805065114
Author:
Lifton, Robert Jay
Publisher:
Owl Books (NY)
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Criminology
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Cults, Demonism, the Occult
Subject:
Cults
Subject:
Oumu Shinrikyo (Religious organization)
Subject:
Asahara, Shoko
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
POL037000
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Number:
1st Owl Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
no. 14
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mood Disorders and Depression
History and Social Science » Asia » Japan » Contemporary 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Christianity » Cults and the Occult

Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism New Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805065114 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Since earliest history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only the nuclear age has enabled a megalomaniac guru with an apocalyptic vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Robert Jay Lifton offers a case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.<P>With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru created a religion from a global stew of new age thinking, ancient rituals, and science fiction, then recruited scientists to produce weapons of mass destruction. Also taking stock of Charles Manson. Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists are able to bring about their own holocausts.
"Synopsis" by ,
National Book Award winner and renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton reveals a world at risk from millennial cults intent on ending it all.

Since the earliest moments of recorded history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only in the nuclear age has it been possible for a megalomaniac guru with a world-ending vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Now Robert Jay Lifton offers a vivid and disturbing case in point in this chilling exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subways.

With unprecedented access to former Aum members, Lifton has produced a pathbreaking study of the inner life of a modern millennial cult. He shows how Aum's guru Shoko Asahara (charismatic spiritual leader, con man, madman) created a religion from a global stew of New Age thinking, ancient rituals, and apocalyptic science fiction, then recruited scientists as disciples and set them to producing weapons of mass destruction. Taking stock as well of Charles Manson, Heaven's Gate, and the Oklahoma City bombers, Lifton confronts the frightening possibility of a twenty-first century in which cults and terrorists may be able to bring about their own holocausts.

Bold and compelling, Destroying the World to Save It charts the emergence of a new global threat of urgent concern to us all.

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