Crusade: Chronicles of an Unjust War (The American Empire Project)

Overview

A devastating indictment of the Bush administration's war policies from the bestselling author and respected moral authority

With the words "this Crusade, this war on terror," George W. Bush defined the purpose of his presidency. And just as promptly, James Carroll-Boston Globe columnist, son of a general, former antiwar chaplain and activist, and recognized voice of ethical authority-began a week-by-week argument with the administration over its actions. In powerful, passionate...

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Overview

A devastating indictment of the Bush administration's war policies from the bestselling author and respected moral authority

With the words "this Crusade, this war on terror," George W. Bush defined the purpose of his presidency. And just as promptly, James Carroll-Boston Globe columnist, son of a general, former antiwar chaplain and activist, and recognized voice of ethical authority-began a week-by-week argument with the administration over its actions. In powerful, passionate bulletins, Carroll dissected the President's exploitation of the nation's fears, invocations of a Christian mission, and efforts to overturn America's traditional relations-with other nations and its own citizens.

Crusade, the collection of Carroll's searing columns, offers a comprehensive and tough-minded critique of the war on terror. From Carroll's first rejection of "war" as the proper response to Osama bin Laden, to his prescient verdict of failure in Iraq, to his never-before-published analysis of the faith-based roots of current U.S. policies, this volume displays his rare insight and scope. Combining clear moral consciousness, an acute sense of history, and a real-world grasp of the unforgiving demands of politics, Crusade is a compelling call for the rescue of America's noblest traditions.

A cry from the heart, a record of protest, and a permanently relevant analysis, Carroll's work confronts the Bush era and measures it against what America was meant to be.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Devastating and deeply humanistic...James Carroll's critiques of our foreign policy offer a unique combination of historical knowledge and moral perspective. For people concerned about the mixture of religion, politics, and terrorism (our and theirs) in today's world, Carroll is the ultimate guide." --Chalmers Johnson, author of The Sorrows of Empire

"The war in Iraq has been a victory of moral fervor over moral clarity. The first without the second is a curse on itself and others. James Carroll brings to bear-I hope not too late-the moral clarity we so badly need." --Garry Wills

"This is the most compelling report and analysis that we've had yet of the Middle East conflict, specifically Iraq, and all in wonderfully readable style...Those who are uncomfortable about our commitment in Iraq as well as those who have made up their minds against it will find here both literate and compelling support." --John Kenneth Galbraith

"In his remarkable memoir, An American Requiem, James Carroll established himself as an eloquent critic of the immorality and madness of the Vietnam War. In Crusade, he has wedded this moral clarity to a keen sense of both history and the enormous complexity of peacemaking. These passionate essays constitute a devastating critique of the folly fobbed off as 'realism' by the Bush administration in its ill-conceived 'War on Terror.'" --John Dower, author of Embracing Defeat, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"At a time when political writing seems like a food fight between left and right, Jim Carroll writes from a vivid moral center. He questions power and warns of the folly of conflict. This collection offers a rare and courageous voice."--Ellen Goodman

Library Journal
Author of celebrated fiction and nonfiction and a National Book Award winner for An American Requiem, former antiwar chaplain Carroll crafts a week-by-week rebuttal of the war with Iraq. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Did Dubya know what mental associations he conjured up when, post-9/11, he promised to launch a crusade against terror? Maybe not. But Al Qaeda got the point-and so did the rest of the Muslim world. Which is none to the good, writes former Catholic priest and current Boston Globe columnist Carroll (Constantine's Sword, 2001, etc.). Evoking the Crusades of yore was a mistake, he argues at the outset. "My thoughts went to the elusive Osama bin Laden, how pleased he must have been, Bush already reading from his script," Carroll writes, provocatively. And how so? For Bush, Carroll hazards, "crusade" was a casual, offhand reference, but for Muslims it would have called to mind hundreds of years of warfare with a millennial Christianity at whose head stood a savior whose cross had been beaten into a sword. Maybe not so offhand, then, for, Carroll writes, "George W. Bush, having cheerfully accepted responsibility for the executions of 152 death row inmates in Texas, had already shown himself to be entirely at home with divinely sanctioned violence." At once theologian, philosopher, gadfly, and policy wonk, Carroll proceeds, in this collection of Globe commentaries, to poke and probe at the assumptions of the administration, which all seem to have a strange inevitability; after all, he notes, September 11, 1991, was the date on which Dubya's father announced that a new world order had emerged from the ashes of the Soviet empire. Carroll thoughtfully examines the buildup to the Iraq conflict in the light of Vietnam, a war in which his father prominently served, and he champions in its stead a humane internationalism: "Because a unilateral war formed the core of America's response to 9/11, thegreatest moral shift to have occurred among nations in the twentieth century-the fragile but precious idea of institutionalized international mutuality-has been undercut."Smart and closely argued contrarianism, worthy of a Berrigan or Niebuhr. And don't miss the bonus track: a learned, priestly scourging of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, "a triumph of sadomasochistic exploitation."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805077032
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/3/2004
  • Series: American Empire Project Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

James Carroll is the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning memoir An American Requiem; Constantine's Sword, a history of Christian anti-Semitism; and ten novels. He lectures widely on war and peace, and on Jewish-Christian-Muslim reconciliation. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

From Crusade:

In the Gothic splendor of the National Cathedral, three days after the events of September 11, George W. Bush made the most stirring-and ominous-declaration of his presidency. "Americans do not yet have the distance of history," he said, "but our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil."

Most Americans, perhaps, heard the statement as mere rhetoric of the high pulpit, but as the "distance of history" lengthens, we can see that with that declaration the President redefined his raison d'etre and that of the nation-nothing less than to "rid the world of evil." The initiatives taken by Washington in the last two years are incomprehensible except in the context of this objective. Clearly President Bush meant exactly what he said. Something entirely new, for America at least, is animating its government. The greatest power the earth has ever known is now expressly mobilized against the world's most ancient mystery. What human beings have never before been able to do, George W. Bush has taken on as his personal mission, and he aims to accomplish it in one election cycle, two at most.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    HOW CAN YOU?

    How can you say this author had a 'prescient verdict of failure in Iraq' when the work is not over. Hell, we've barely begun. Sounds like more of your typical liberal defeatist BS to me. Tell the soldiers in Irag and Afghanistan they have been defeated. I dare you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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