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Terror and Liberalismby Paul Berman
Synopses & Reviews
A manifesto for an aggressive liberal response to terrorist attacks.
One of our most brilliant public intellectuals, Paul Berman has spent his career writing on revolutionary movements and their totalitarian aspects. Here he argues that, in the terror war, we are not facing a battle of the West against Islam — a clash of civilizations. We are facing, instead, the same battle that tore apart Europe during most of the twentieth century, only in a new version. It is the clash of liberalism and its enemies — the battle between freedom and totalitarianism that arose in Europe many years ago and spread to the Muslim world.
The author considers the wars against fascism and communism from the past, and draws cautionary lessons. But he also draws from those past experiences a liberal program for the present — a program that departs in fundamental respects from the policies of the Bush administration.
"Full of good, smart moments." Kirkus Reviews
"Forceful and persuasive." Washington Post Book World
"An accomplished intellectual history....This book has insights for everyone across the political spectrum who seeks a better understanding of the present danger." National Review
"An achievement...practical, yet analytical." The Nation
"An engaging, delusion-busting history primer." Village Voice
"Berman connects the dots of world fascism....Policymakers everywhere should bone up on his discoveries and take heed." The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Brilliant, stirring." Dallas Morning News
"Wonderfully rich and illuminating." Wall Street Journal
"A fluid and lucid essay by one of America's best exponents of recent intellectual history." The Economist
"A former MacArthur fellow and a contributing editor to the New Republic, Berman offers an argument that will be welcomed by disaffected progressives looking for a new analysis of today's world." Publishers Weekly
"Culminating in an appeal for the robust advancement of secular democracy — and a criticism of the Bush administration's attempts to advance it — Berman's intellectual history is a perfectly timed must-read." Brendan Driscoll, Booklist
"Berman is one of the most elegant and provacative thinkers to emerge from America's New Left." Salon
One of our most brilliant public intellectuals, Berman argues that, in the terror war, we are facing the same battle that tore apart Europe during most of the twentieth century, only in a new version.
In Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman argues that the terror war is not an imperialist war, nor is it a clash of civilizations. The terror war is a new phase of the giant conflict that broke out in Europe almost a century ago and has never come to an end — the war between liberal society and its enemies. It is a war of ideas, with brilliant and profound thinkers on both sides, whose philosophies need to be taken seriously. Terror and Liberalism is that rarest of books, a masterful work of political analysis — original, deep, and wide-ranging — that is also a work of literature: artful, witty, passionate, and engaging.
This is the first book to address the political-philosophical dimensions of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism and offer conclusions about how the West should respond.
A manifesto for an aggressive liberal response to terrorist attacks. "A fluid and lucid essay by one of America's best exponents of recent intellectual history."'"The Economist
About the Author
Paul Berman is a contributing editor of The New Republic and the author of A Tale of Two Utopias: The Political Journey of the Generation of 1968.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Norton Paperback Edition XI
I Against Nixon 3
II Armageddon in Its Modern Versions 22
III In the Shade of the Koran 52
IV The Hideous Schizophrenia 77
V The Politics of Slaughter 103
VI Wishful Thinking 121
VII Mental War 154
A Note to the Reader 211
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