Lewis H. Lapham Theater of War

ISBN 13: 9781565847729

Theater of War

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A sharp critic of American foreign policy takes on post-September 11 America, exposing the "imperial" behavior that has characterized the nation's moves around the world. 13,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Lewis Lapham is the editor of Harper's magazine and received a National Magazine Award for his essay writing. He is the author of several books, including Money and Class in America, Imperial Masquerade, The Wish for Kings, Hotel America, and Waiting for the Barbarians. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Harper's magazine editor Lapham (Money and Class in America) comes out doing the sarcastic equivalent of swinging in this collection of diatribes against incompetent hypocrisy in the media and government: "Maybe it's a trick of memory or a sign of age, but when I watch President George W. Bush threaten a White House television camera with a promise to punish the world's evildoers, the call to arms sounds like the sale pitch for an off-road vehicle or a lite beer," he writes in one of 14 jeremiads, published in his Harper's "Notebook" column between October 2000 and March 2002. Unfortunately, just as the above quote provides a double dose of self-doubt at the beginning and nowhere near enough wallop at the finish, most of these pieces, including an introductory tour of the last 50 years of U.S. foreign policy and small wars, lack laser-guided punch. At his best, however, Lapham summarizes and asserts his version of fin de siecle politics. Some of his post-September 11 remarks hit home, e.g., when he cites Alfred North Whitehead in arguing that the business of the future is to be dangerous. He wisely observes that "all societies, like most individuals, are always in some kind of trouble" and acutely concludes that it isn't trouble that kills, but rather "the fear of thought and the paralysis that accompanies the wish to believe that only the wicked perish." But such moments are difficult to pick out of the often diffuse text, and while criticism of the president has been somewhat muted, readers sympathetic to Lapham's point of view will wish he had gone even further out on a rhetorical limb.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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