On Art and War and Terror

Overview

A collection of Alex Danchev's essays on the theme of art, war, and terror, this book offers a sustained demonstration of the way in which works of art can help us explore the most difficult ethical and political issues of our time: war, terror, extermination, torture, and abuse. The volume takes seriously the idea of the artist as moral witness to this realm, considering war photography, for example, as a form of humanitarian intervention. Contributors also consider war poetry, war films, and war diaries in a ...

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Overview

A collection of Alex Danchev's essays on the theme of art, war, and terror, this book offers a sustained demonstration of the way in which works of art can help us explore the most difficult ethical and political issues of our time: war, terror, extermination, torture, and abuse. The volume takes seriously the idea of the artist as moral witness to this realm, considering war photography, for example, as a form of humanitarian intervention. Contributors also consider war poetry, war films, and war diaries in a broad view of art and war. Kafka is drawn upon to address torture and abuse in the war on terror; Homer is utilized to critique current talk of "barbarisatio;." the paintings of Gerhard Richter are used to investigate the terrorists of the Baader-Meinhof group; and the photographs of Don McCullin and the writings of Vassily Grossman and Primo Levi allow one writer to propose an ethics of small acts of altruism. The collection examines the nature of conflict over the last century, from the Great War to the current "Global War on Terror," investigating what it means to be human in war, the nature of the costs exacted, and ways of coping. Several of these essays therefore have a biographical focus.

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Book Review
It expands our understanding of how art can be used in wartime.

— Kevin Winter

The Independent
The range of these beautifully crafted essays is often dazzling. At his best, Danchev reveals himself to be a gifted and profound essayist.
Times Higher Education
On Art and War and Terror collects Alex Danchev's beautifully lucid and thoughtful essays on the most difficult issues of our age and, in particular, the nature of humanity in times of conflict.
The Sunday Telegraph
Alex Danchev's series of essays remind us why he is one of the most perceptive and witty scholars writing in Britain today.
Millennium: Journal of International Studies
One of the most important books I have had the pleasure to read in a long time... When reading this thoughtful and thought-provoking book terms that come to mind include lucid, illuminating, mesmerizing, all of which are analytically weak but indicative nevertheless of what makes this book such a profound reading experience.
Millennium: Journal of International Studies
One of the most important books I have had the pleasure to read in a long time... When reading this thoughtful and thought-provoking book terms that come to mind include lucid, illuminating, mesmerizing, all of which are analytically weak but indicative nevertheless of what makes this book such a profound reading experience.
San Francisco Book Review - Kevin Winter
It expands our understanding of how art can be used in wartime.
Time Magazines Higher Education
On Art and War and Terror collects Alex Danchev's beautifully lucid and thoughtful essays on the most difficult issues of our age and, in particular, the nature of humanity in times of conflict.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748642595
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Danchev is professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham and author or editor of fifteen books, including Georges Braque: A Life and The Iraq War and Democratic Politics.

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