Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Inspired by the events of September 11, one of America's foremost political philosophers mounts an impassioned defense of "just war" against terror.
On Sale: August 3, 2004
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Jean Bethke Elshtain has been hailed as one of this
country's most influential public intellectuals. Michael
Walzer called her award-winning Democracy on Trial "the work
of a truly independent, deeply serious, politically engaged,
and wonderfully provocative political theorist." These rare
qualities are once again vividly in force in Just War
In this hard-hitting book, Elshtain advocates "just war" in
times of crisis and mounts a reasoned attack against the
defenses of terrorism that have abounded since September 11.
Arguing that those who defend terrorist acts on the basis of
their "root causes"--poverty, political conflict,
infringement of Western values on Islamic culture--minimize
the responsibility of terrorists, Elshtain interrogates the
sources of root-cause reasoning and traces them to a
fundamental misunderstanding of the Judeo-Christian ethic of
war and peace, compounded by "faux-pacifist" positions and
retro-sixties cultural romance. Why, she asks, are pacifist
alternatives so palpably inadequate? So implausible? often
so irresponsible? How indeed does one respond to acts of
terror that constitute an act of war perpetrated against
one's own citizenry? Advocating an ethic of responsibility,
Elshtain forces us to ask tough questions not only about the
nature of Islam but also about ourselves.
Elegantly written and forcefully argued, Just War Against
Terror offers a badly needed and refreshingly clear look at
responses to terror in the modern world. --This text refers
to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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