Terror, Terrorism, And The Human Condition / Edition 1

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In an attempt to explore the impact of terrorism at its most basic level--that of sowing fear and anxiety--this book investigates our now centuries-long attraction to, and dread of, terror and its progeny, including terrorism, or political terror, and mass murder. It is also a call to thought, and an appeal to reasoned action. Charles Webel argues that while a "war" on terrorism cannot succeed in eliminating terror from our human condition, this does not mean that it cannot, and should not, be confronted by means other than war. If we are to survive, we need to create new, basically nonviolent, means to resolve conflicts and to reduce their lethality. In order to do this, we must first understand the roots of terrorism--the emotions and human psychology that drive it--so that we can better counteract it. Through interviews with survivors of terror, from the Holocaust, Dresden fire bombing, and Nagasaki to the 9/11 and Madrid attacks, Terror, Terrorism, and the Human Condition seeks to provide this understanding and to point our way toward a more hopeful future by providing concrete suggestions on how to combat terrorism without waging a "war on terror."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Terror and terrorism are today parts of our human condition. But as opposed to certain others, some called "experts on terrorism", who in their pre-enlightenment ways only talk about evil and hatred and war on terrorism, Webel in the best tradition of our civilization tries to understand the phenomenon. And in doing so he also examines terrorism by the state, like the terrorist killing of tens of thousand in Dresden. The book is a must for those who want to understand, not only pontificate." --Johan Galtung, Professor of Peace Studies, Director TRANSCEND

"Charles Webel has provided a stunning analysis of terror in terms of its psychological, social, and political impact. He also has important ideas about how to confront it. This is a major work that forces us to deal with our fears and the politicians who prey upon them." --Stephen Eric Bronner, Rutgers University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Charles Webel has taught social science and philosophy at UC Berkeley, Saybrook Graduate School, and Harvard University. He is series editor of Twenty-First Century Perspectives on War, Peace, and Human Conflict.


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Pondering the Imponderable
• Defining the Indefinable: What Are, and Are Not "Terror, Terrorism, and the Human Condition?"
• Depicting the Indescribable: A Brief History of Terrorism
• Articulating the Ineffable: The Voices of the Terrified
• Surviving the Unendurable: Coping, and Failing to Cope, with Terror and Trauma
• Conclusion" Imagining the Unimaginable? A World without (or with less . . .) Terror and Terrorism?

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2005


    A dazzling and unique look at the personal experiences of victims of state and non-state terrorism. A must read!

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