Terror and Liberalism

( 3 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
“Forceful and persuasive.”
National Review
“An accomplished intellectual history....This book has insights for everyone across the political spectrum who seeks a better understanding of the present danger.”
New York Times
“One of the most challenging accounts of the post-9/11 world.”
The Nation
“An achievement...practical, yet analytical.”
Newsletter of the Social Democrats USA
“A compelling [and] powerful book.”
The Weekly Standard
“A damning indictment of bad leftism...a smart [and] honest book that should be read.”
Village Voice
“An engaging, delusion-busting history primer.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Berman connects the dots of world fascism...Policymakers everywhere should bone up on his discoveries and take heed.”
Salon
“Berman is one of the most elegant and provacative thinkers to emerge from America's New Left.”
New York Times Book Review
“Berman makes a compelling case.”
Washington Monthly
“Berman's book is penetrating, insightful, honest, erudite...it is always intense.”
Bookforum
“Breaks its bounds....As a thinker [and] as a writer, Berman begins to cast a spell.”
Dallas Morning News
“Brilliant, stirring.”
The New York Review
“There is much to admire in Berman's book....[a] valuable contribution.”
Wall Street Journal
“Wonderfully rich and illuminating.”
The Economist
“A fluid and lucid essay by one of America's best exponents of recent intellectual history.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393325553
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/19/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,423,972
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Berman writes about politics and literature for The New Republic, the New York Times Book Review, and other magazines. His books have been translated into thirteen languages. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Norton paperback edition
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
Index 215
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2011

    Foundations of Today

    There are many attempts to clarify the tumult in the world today. But an understanding of the path from the past to the present can only come from observing all the strands pulling today's politics.

    Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism" is one of the bright journeys to that understanding. It could have been simplified or bullet pointed or otherwise reduced. Thankfully, it was not. For anyone seeking to understand how terrorism became a political leit motif, Berman's book is a must.

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

    Posted February 19, 2006

    Meandering text, limited insights

    I bought this book solely on the recommendation of a writer I respect (Sam Harris). What a disappointment. You will have to navigate through chapter upon chapter before a salient point is made. This is the type of writing that gives 'intellectuals' a bad rap: arcane comparisons, overgeneralizations, extrapolations of time and place, and mental self stimulation over the 'myth' concept (Didn't Joseph Campbell beat this dead horse enough?).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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