Civil Wars: From L. A. to Bosnia by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Civil Wars: From L. A. to Bosnia

Civil Wars: From L. A. to Bosnia

by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
     
 

In Civil Wars, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Germany’s most astute literary and political critic, chronicles the global changes taking place as the result of evolving notions of nationalism, loyalty, and community. Enzensberger sees similar forces at work around the world, from America’s racial uprisings in Los Angeles to the outright carnage in the

Overview

In Civil Wars, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Germany’s most astute literary and political critic, chronicles the global changes taking place as the result of evolving notions of nationalism, loyalty, and community. Enzensberger sees similar forces at work around the world, from America’s racial uprisings in Los Angeles to the outright carnage in the former Yugoslavia. He argues that previous approaches to class or generational conflict have failed us, and that we are now confronted with an “autism of violence”: a tendency toward self-destruction and collective madness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Which is stranger: killing people you know, or destroying an opponent you have absolutely no conception of?'' asks Enzensberger (Europe, Europe), who points out that civil war is nothing new; ``cultivated'' war between nations is the ``relatively recent'' development in the span of human history. But with the end of the Cold War, the world seems to have erupted in mindlessly violent conflicts whose ``autistic'' combatants come to resemble each other as they self-destruct, asserts the author. Extending this generalization, the well-known German political and literary critic unconvincingly likens gang warfare in U.S. inner cities to the present Bosnian civil war, viewing both as acts of collective self-mutilation. But this uneven essay contains more rewarding insights, as when Enzensberger observes that more and more people are being permanently excluded from the world economic system or argues that, instead of blaming the West for its poverty, the Third World must hold accountable the indigenous ``political gangster classes'' that have been looting their own countries for decades. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"Always clear, never reliant upon jargon, able to convey complex ideas without obfuscation, [Enzensberger's] prose and poetry are the witty, no-nonsense vehicle of a preeminent public intellectual." —The Boston Phoenix

"Brilliant. . . . A bracing polemic against the pretensions of Western politicians and intellectuals." —The Nation

"Enzensberger moves inventively from philosophical contemplation . . . to biting commentary. . . . [His] distinctive mélange of despairing cynicism and shrewd irony makes us pay attention." —The Toronto Globe and Mail

"Thoughtful and highly nuanced insights on the changes taking place since the end of Communism." —The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565842083
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Pages:
144

Meet the Author


Hans Magnus Enzensberger was born in Bavaria in 1929. One of the leading social critics in Germany, his essays have appeared in a wide range of journals. He is the author of Civil Wars: From L.A. to Bosnia, Europe, The Consciousness Industry, Political Crumbs, Politics and Crime, and, most recently, The Number Devil. He lives in Munich, Germany

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