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The Final Frontier: Science, America, and Terrorby Dominick Jenkins
Synopses & Reviews
In this highly original and provocative work, Dominick Jenkins provides a meticulously researched history of US weapons policy from the First World War to the present day. In the first part Jenkins shows how the US presidency and its advisers portrayed Americans as living on a new high-technology frontier, faced by a German outlaw whose chemical and air weapons would make it an ever greater threat. In so doing, they helped produce the very enemies they warned against, and raised the probability of further war and terror.
The comparisons Jenkins draws with the contemporary situation are clear and compelling: As with the German sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, the September 11 attacks are now being used to convince Americans to back the expansion of presidential power and a permanent war against rogue states armed with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. But the history of the weapons laboratories underscores the danger. With the end of the Cold War, the opportunity for a long-term just peace may be lost, and the memory of that chance erased.
Book News Annotation:
Drawing parallels between the current "War on Terror" and the massive arms expansion of the first half of the 20th century, Jenkins (history and philosophy of science, Cambridge U., UK) argues that the fear among the American people of devastating weapons in the hands of "enemies" was created by the American military and allied weapons laboratories in order to justify the development of devastating weapons that were used by the U.S. with devastating effect on civilian populations abroad. The development of this world devastating power helped delay the expansion of democracy domestically and was aided by an alliance between a centralized Presidency and the weapons industry. Jenkins concludes the work by suggesting that the path out of this dilemma is to further expand democracy so that citizens intervene in defining the path of future research and technology development.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Engaging with theorists such as Foucault, Lyotard and Agamben, this book is a clarion call to join the resistance against the return of empire and a stirring manifesto for the emerging global peace movement.
In this highly original and provocative work, Jenkins provides a meticulously researched history of United States weapons policy and shows how presidential advisors helped produce the very enemies they warned against. The comparisons Jenkins draws with the contemporary situation are clear and compelling.
About the Author
Dominick Jenkins has worked for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He is currently a researcher at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University.
What Our Readers Are Saying
History and Social Science » Politics » Covert Government and Conspiracy Theory