The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience

Overview

Since the early 1990s, Michael Ignatieff has traveled the world's war zones, from Bosnia to the West Bank, from Afghanistan to central Africa. The Warrior's Honor is a report and a reflection on what he has seen in the places where ethnic war has become a way of life. Ignatieff charts the rise of the new moral interventionists—the relief workers, reporters, delegates, and diplomats who believe that other people's misery is of concern to us all. And he brings us face-to-face with the new ethnic warriors—the ...

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Overview

Since the early 1990s, Michael Ignatieff has traveled the world's war zones, from Bosnia to the West Bank, from Afghanistan to central Africa. The Warrior's Honor is a report and a reflection on what he has seen in the places where ethnic war has become a way of life. Ignatieff charts the rise of the new moral interventionists—the relief workers, reporters, delegates, and diplomats who believe that other people's misery is of concern to us all. And he brings us face-to-face with the new ethnic warriors—the warlords, gunmen, and paramilitaries—who have escalated postmodern war to an unprecedented level of savagery. Hard-hitting and passionate, The Warrior's Honor is a profound and searching exploration of the perils and obligations of moral citizenship in a world scarred by war and genocide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
*"A moving and superb discussion of the dilemmas of modern humanitarianism amidst modern cruelty."—William Shawcross

"A splid and beautifully written book. Honest, lucid, subtle, full of important information."—Conor Cruise O'Brien"

Compelling and penetrating."--The Boston Globe

"Ignatieff's argument is simple and, to my mind, irresistible."—Alan Ryan, The New York Times Book Review

Alan Ryan
The structure of Ignatieff's argument is simpleand to my mind irresistible. —New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
This collection of Ignatieff's previously published essays conveys through meticulous reporting the moral enigmas of current warfare. Each of the five essays poses a core dilemma: How has television's 'promiscuous' gaze promoted both moral universalism and 'generalized misanthropy?' How does Freud's idea of the 'narcissism of minor difference' play itself out among the perpetrators of Bosnia's ethnic cleansing? Why does 'moral disgust' in our reaction to Africa's killing fields deflect Western states from an effective response? The book's title comes from an essay about the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross to blunt the slaughter of Afghan innocents in appeals to 'warrior's honor.' Ignatieff (Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism) calls for the creation of a 'saving distance' between myths of historical violence and the imperatives of present life. He is not optimistic, but serious readers will not flinch from these durable and troubling essays. -- Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Erie, Pennsylvania
Library Journal
This collection of Ignatieff's previously published essays conveys through meticulous reporting the moral enigmas of current warfare. Each of the five essays poses a core dilemma: How has television's 'promiscuous' gaze promoted both moral universalism and 'generalized misanthropy?' How does Freud's idea of the 'narcissism of minor difference' play itself out among the perpetrators of Bosnia's ethnic cleansing? Why does 'moral disgust' in our reaction to Africa's killing fields deflect Western states from an effective response? The book's title comes from an essay about the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross to blunt the slaughter of Afghan innocents in appeals to 'warrior's honor.' Ignatieff (Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism) calls for the creation of a 'saving distance' between myths of historical violence and the imperatives of present life. He is not optimistic, but serious readers will not flinch from these durable and troubling essays. -- Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Erie, Pennsylvania
Booknews
A journalist's firsthand account of travels in ethnic war zones around the world, offering vivid portraits of aid workers, diplomats, warlords, and paramilitary forces and discussing the ambiguous ethics of engagement, the limited force of moral justice in a world of war, and the clash between those who defend tribal and national loyalties and those who champion human rights.
Peter Maas
If you are trying to understand the role of ethnic conflicts in our world today, Ignatieff is one of the best guides...Ignatieff's insights are acute and profound. -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
Alan Ryan
The structure of Ignatieff's argument is simple, and to my mind irresistible. -- New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805055191
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 1,214,196
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Ignatieff is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, among other publications and the author of many acclaimed books including Blood and Belonging, Isaiah Berlin, The Warrior's Honor, The Russian Album, The Needs of Strangers, and Virtual War. He lives in London and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Is Nothing Sacred? The Ethics of Television 9
The Narcissism of Minor Difference 34
The Seductiveness of Moral Disgust 72
The Warrior's Honor 109
The Nightmare from Which We Are Trying to Awake 164
Notes on Sources 191
Index 197
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