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Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy in an Age of Interdependenceby Benjamin Barber
Synopses & Reviews
The author of Jihad vs. McWorld analyzes how American foreign policy has gone wrong — and how it could go right. In this hard-hitting but pragmatic new critique of the Bush administration's foreign policy, Benjamin R. Barber exposes in detail the folly of an agenda of preventive war, placing it in the context of two hundred years of American strategic doctrine (including the recent history of deterrence and containment). He shows how chosen "rogue states" have been made to stand in for terrorists too difficult to locate and destroy, and how the United States continues to support dictatorship in nations it regards as friends, while still believing we can impose democracy on vanquished enemies at the barrel of a gun.
Barber argues for an America that promotes cooperation, multilateralism, international law, and pooled sovereignty. For as law and citizenship alone secure liberty within nations, law and citizenship alone can secure liberty among them, freeing them from fear.
"Fear's Empire lays the foundation for a principled opposition based on America's truest and best values." Senator Gary Hart
"Benjamin Barber has produced a lucid, informed, and compelling refutation of what has come to be known as the Bush Doctrine." George Soros
"Provocative work from an incisive critic who occasionally waxes unblushingly utopian." Kirkus Reviews
"Fear's Empire is bracing for its clarity, humanity, large-mindedness, and common sense — and downright precious for its sound suggestions as to where we, as a nation, should be going." Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon and Cruel and Unusual
"Barber once again proves that he is among the very top serious thinkers and writers about American politics and culture." Leslie H. Gelb, President, The Council on Foreign Relations
"This is a wise, learned and justifiably angry book, and a breath of fresh air." Stanley Hoffmann, Buttenwieser University Professor, Harvard University
"Well-documented and incisive...a must read at this critical time in world affairs." Bob Kerrey, President, New School University
Book News Annotation:
Seeing the 21st century world as being defined by a "mandatory interdependence," Barber (best known for 1992's ) is critical of George W. Bush's unilateralism and argues that it invites failure. He attacks the exceptionalism that he sees as a constant theme in American foreign policy, as well as the attack on the primacy of national sovereignty that characterized the Iraq invasion and has been enshrines as the "Bush doctrine" of preventive war. Promoting democracy through war is impossible, insists Barber, and the proper focus of the "War on Terror" should be criminal actions against terrorists, rather than war against states.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Benjamin R. Barber lambasts the Bush administration's attempt to fight fear with fear in the age of terrorism, advocating instead an America that promotes co-operation, multilateralism, international law and pooled sovereignty.
The author of "Jihad vs. McWorld" analyzes how American foreign policy has gone wrong--and how it could go right.
About the Author
Benjamin R. Barber is professor of civil society at the University of Maryland and a principal of The Democracy Collaborative. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Eagles and owls — The myth of independence — The war of all against all — The "new" doctrine of preventive war — The "old" doctrine of deterrence — Preventive democracy — You can't export McWorld and call it democracy — You can't export America and call it freedom — CivWorld.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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