Synopses & Reviews
Beginning with his debut masterpiece, The Naked and the Dead,
Norman Mailer has repeatedly told the truth about war. Why Are We at War?
returns Mailer to the gravity of the battlefield and the grand hubris of the politicians who send soldiers there to die. First published in the early days of the Iraq War, Why Are We at War?
is an explosive argument about the American quest for empire that still carries weight today. Scrutinizing the Bush administration’s words and actions, Mailer unleashes his trademark moral rigor: “Because democracy is noble, it is always endangered. . . . To assume blithely that we can export democracy into any country we choose can serve paradoxically to encourage more fascism at home and abroad.”
Praise for Why Are We at War?
“We’re overloaded with information these days, some of it possibly true. Mailer offers a provocative—and persuasive—cultural and intellectual frame.”—Newsweek
“[Mailer] still has the stamina to churn out hard-hitting criticism.”—Los Angeles Times
“Penetrating . . . There’s plenty of irreverent wit and fresh thinking on display.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Eloquent . . . thoughtful . . . Why Are We at War? pulls no punches.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post
“Because democracy is noble, it is always endangered. Nobility, indeed, is always in danger. Democracy is perishable. I think the natural government for most people, given the uglier depths of human nature, is fascism. Fascism is more of a natural state than democracy. To assume blithely that we can export democracy into any country we choose can serve paradoxically to encourage more fascism at home and abroad.”—from Why Are We at War?
Why Are We at War? is an explosive argument about George W. Bush and his quest for empire. Norman Mailer, one of the greatest authors of our time, lays bare the White Houses position on why war in Iraq is necessary and justified. By scrutinizing the administrations words and actions leading up to the current crisis, Mailer carefully builds his case that Bush is pursuing war not in the name of security or anti-terrorism or human rights but in an undeclared yet fully realized ambition of global empire.
Mailer unleashes his trademark moral rigor on an administration he believes is recklessly endangering our very notion of freedom and democracy. For more than fifty years, in classic works of both fiction and nonfiction, Mailer has persistently exposed the folly of the powerful and the mighty. Beginning with his debut masterpiece, The Naked and the Dead, Mailer has repeatedly told the truth about war and why men fight. Why Are We at War? returns Mailer to the subject he knows better than any other writer in America today: the gravity of the battlefield and the grand hubris of the politicians who send soldiers there to die.
By scrutinising the administration's words and actions leading up to the current crisis, Mailer carefully builds his case that Bush is pursuing war not in the name of security or anti-terrorism or human rights but in an undeclared yet fully realised ambition of global empire.
About the Author
Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City.