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Understanding Terror: Perspectives for Canadiansby Karim Aly Kassam
Synopses & Reviews
While much has been said about the “global war on terror,” the concept remains cunningly elusive and yet undeniably pervasive. This collection of essays is an effort to discover the Canadian “self” through exploration of the terrorist “other.”
Understanding Terror, as a collection, views the war on terror from unique eyes. It defines the boundaries of terror, examines its construction in the media, and explores its relationship to the Muslim “other.”
This book takes a historical approach to consideration of terror through specific examples and its presence in the media, in North American society, and particularly in Canada. Contributors to the volume include journalists, scholars, and public policy experts, many of whom have viewed or experienced terror first-hand. Their aim is to examine specific events, reflect on how those events might be interpreted, and provide historical context, all the while encouraging the reader to question preconceived characterizations of this highly charged political and cultural issue.
Book News Annotation:
By choosing the title Understanding Terror for this collection of nine essays, editor Kassam (environmental and indigenous studies, Cornell U.) seeks to signify that the collection goes beyond merely describing terror and terrorism and seeks to explore terror in its diverse contexts and expressions and to engender questioning and discourse by moving beyond the standard boundaries of the term and by examining its treatment in the North American, particularly Canadian, media. Individual essays discuss the broad boundaries of state and non-state terrorism, Canadian civil society's responses to terrorism during the Cold War, the treatment of the Canadian government of the bombing of Air India flight 182 in comparison to other state and non-state downing of civilian aircraft, the rhetorical deployment of the term "terrorism" in the Canadian media, "terrorism" as a distraction from more dangerous environmental hazards, the use of terror in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and the over-determination of Islam as a source of a clash of civilizations that produces terrorism. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Karim-Aly S. Kassam has coedited Canada and September 11: Impact and Response. He currently holds the post of International Associate Professor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University.
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History and Social Science » Politics » General