The Age Of Terror Hardcover – Jan 3 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
This latest entry into the post-September 11 publishing frenzy (edited by former Time contributor and deputy secretary of state Talbott and Chanda, his colleague at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization) relies on top-notch academics to probe behind the headlines. While all of the essays taken together provide a primer on some of the most pressing issues that have emerged in the past few months, the strongest pieces provocatively explore new ground. Scientist Maxine Singer underscores the necessity to extend ties and funding between government and researchers, in part to support "off-the-wall" ideas that might help in U.S. domestic defense. Oxford historian Niall Ferguson explores the non-Muslim antecedents of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon; individual elements of the attacks were not new, he argues, only their combination was. Yale professor Paul Kennedy compares the situation currently faced by the United States with Britain's in the 19th century, concluding that the United States is in a more difficult predicament mainly because of the openness of today's world. These essays often explore ground already covered by journalists: the difficulties of maintaining good relations with a Muslim world, in which the United States is unpopular; the diffuseness of the enemy; the need to protect civil liberties while simultaneously protecting American security. But even where the scholars go over familiar turf, they do so in a comprehensive and thoughtful way that is sure to feed some readers' newly whetted appetites for information on the post-post-Cold War world.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The events of September 11 have raised many new and disturbing questions for everyone. These eight essays, written in the first six weeks (up to November 1) after the events, deal with the perceived failure of America's post-Cold War foreign policy, radical Islam, maintaining this country's place in the new hybrid strategic landscape, Arab terrorism, the behavior of earlier empires that faced threats, maintaining the values of America's legal system, new national security questions, and the relationship between science and defense. The contributors, who include former Deputy Secretary of State Talbot, are all academicians (six at Yale) with collectively many years of thought and writing on their respective topics. They have succeeded in expressing that collective wisdom in an accessible style. No reader should expect definitive answers from such an instant book, but this one earns its keep by suggesting possibly relevant comparisons from the past and by contributing to the definition of the right question. For public and academic libraries. Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book of essays was published as a reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Having gotten into print within just a few weeks of the attacks, the essays are as... Read morePublished on June 12 2002 by David E. Levine
This is in some ways an instant book--produced within a month or so of September 11. But the people who contributed have long been thinking about the issues raised by those... Read morePublished on March 29 2002 by James Voorhees
The Age of Terror compiles the thoughts of various academics about the roots of terrorism and possible directions for national security. Read morePublished on March 23 2002 by S. Miska
This collection of writings provides contemporary thinkers who consider the new issues raised by the events of September 11th. Read morePublished on March 22 2002 by Midwest Book Review
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