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The Age Of Terror Hardcover – Jan 3 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (Jan. 3 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465083560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465083565
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,096,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
WE'VE NEVER HAD a good name for it, and now it's over. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
This is basically a bunch of essays by academics (mostly from Yale) that consists of describing certain elements as related to terrorism and US policy. The academics who composed these essays range from professors of history, law, political science, and there's one molecular biologist. I found most of these essays relevant and interesting from the point of view of examining globalism and also the political roots of fundamentalist Islam. Some of these commentators take the viewpoint that America needs to protect its dominant position and assume an imperalist attitude to do so. I found a little fault with that. I believe cooperation and tolerance is the key. Other commentators illustrate the point that we must be aggressive in combating terrorism and also learn productive measures to combat a potential bioterrorist attack. Most of this is common sense but each writer puts their own spin on it relating to the field they teach about. A little bit of the book was rough because it seemed to be put together rather hastily without proper editing. Also, there were two essays that got pretty dry and read more like reading some kind of intelligence memo. I found myself having to fight boredom a couple of times. Lastly, there were many comparisons drawn in the book between 9-11 and Pearl Harbor or even Britain's position as the dominant power 100 yrs earlier. This was somewhat tedious because we've heard these comparisons over and over. They are true to an extent but there has never been anything quite like 9-11 happen before. I don't know that we'll find any fool-proof answers to the problems of terror that we all face in a changing world in this book. However, it's good that books like this one open up the discussion so that we may dare to think about such matters before we are caught off guard. If you want something to pass the time that concerns political matters and is relatively accessible you should read this book. It's not spectacular but it's okay.
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Format: Hardcover
The Age Of Terror should be a disaster. Eight academicians and career bureaucrats, thrown together in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, ruminate on issues related to that momentous event. Against all odds, though, this hurried collaboration produced some solid work.
Some topics are inspired (how to foster cooperation between the private sector and the military establishment) and others are predictable (foreign policy, civil liberties, and radical Islam). For the most part the authors showed great prescience in their outline of the issues that would confront the United States. The weakest chapter, ironically, covers the most obvious problem: the tension between national security and civil liberties. Conversely, the best essay is the most complex: how to harness American ingenuity to devise new technologies to confront terrorists. Proximity to the attacks did not really effect the quality of the work; those essays that are good would have been so regardless of when written, and the few that fall short would not have improved with time for reflection. The authors all are experts in their respective fields, and if anything this book shows that America's elites were not as caught off guard as it seemed in the first days after the Pentagon and World Trade Center were attacked.
This book is a good overview of terror-related policy issues and at times provides a surprising degree of depth. That it worked at all, let alone holds up, is a pleasant surprise and a tribute to the editors and contributors.
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Format: Hardcover
This collection of essays--written, compiled, and published within just a few weeks of 9/11-- easily could have fallen into the trap of being just another slap-dash, knee-jerk, sloppily-put-together "instant book." And, as with any collection of essays by different authors, The Age of Terror: America and the World After September 11 could have ended up being wildly uneven in terms of quality, theme, and style. Fortunately, none of this happened. Instead, the book's two editors - former Clinton Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Nayan Chanda-have assembled a fine collection of essays by leading experts in various fields (history, law, political science, molecular biology, diplomacy) into a top-notch, thought provoking, fascinating look at the world after 9/11. As explained on the book's jacket, the premise here is that "the unforgivable is not necessarily incomprehensible or inexplicable." After reading this book, the events of 9/11 should be both more comprehensible and more explicable to just about any reader.
Among the more provocative essays in The Age of Terror" is the one by Charles Hill, a former aide to Secretaries of State Kissinger, Haig, and Shultz. Hill's chapter, entitled "A Herculean Task: The Myth and Reality of Arab Terrorism," demolishes what Hill considers to be a series of "deceptive and dangerous myths" that have sprung up following 9/11: that "America faces an entirely new kind of challenge;" that "we brought this on ourselves;" that there are "legitimate grievances about poverty and oppression" that "leave those afflicted with no choice but to take up terrorism;" and that "nothing we do can be effective against such a threat.
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