Thinking in an Emergency

Overview

Award-winning critic Elaine Scarry provides a vital new assessment of leadership during crisis that ensures the protection of democratic values.
In Thinking in an Emergency, Elaine Scarry lays bare the realities of “emergency” politics and emphasizes what she sees as the ultimate ethical concern: “equality of survival.” She reveals how regular citizens can reclaim the power to protect one another and our democratic principles. Government leaders sometimes argue that the need for...

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Thinking in an Emergency (Norton Global Ethics Series)

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Overview

Award-winning critic Elaine Scarry provides a vital new assessment of leadership during crisis that ensures the protection of democratic values.
In Thinking in an Emergency, Elaine Scarry lays bare the realities of “emergency” politics and emphasizes what she sees as the ultimate ethical concern: “equality of survival.” She reveals how regular citizens can reclaim the power to protect one another and our democratic principles. Government leaders sometimes argue that the need for swift national action means there is no time for the population to think, deliberate, or debate. But Scarry shows that clear thinking and rapid action are not in opposition. Examining regions as diverse as Japan, Switzerland, Ethiopia, and Canada, Scarry identifies forms of emergency assistance that represent “thinking” at its most rigorous and remarkable. She draws on the work of philosophers, scientists, and artists to remind us of our ability to assist one another, whether we are called upon to perform acts of rescue as individuals, as members of a neighborhood, or as citizens of a country.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education (UK)
Written with passion from a deeply humanitarian standpoint . . . a mind-blowing canter around some difficult topics—conflict, democracy and nuclear war.. . . I will give this book the ultimate accolade—I will buy copies as gifts for others.— Patrick Tissington
Patrick Tissington - Times Higher Education (UK)
“Written with passion from a deeply humanitarian standpoint . . . a mind-blowing canter around some difficult topics—conflict, democracy and nuclear war.. . . I will give this book the ultimate accolade—I will buy copies as gifts for others.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393340587
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/9/2012
  • Series: Amnesty International Global Ethics Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,426,821
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Scarry is the Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. Her book The Body in Pain was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 The Seduction to Stop Thinking 3

Chapter 2 Four Models of Emergency Thinking

CPR 19

Mutual Aid Contracts 34

The Swiss Shelter System 51

The Constitutional Brake on War 69

Chapter 3 The Place of Habit in Acts of Thinking 81

Notes 109

Acknowledgments 143

Index 145

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