From Publishers Weekly
Describing genocide as part of the "master story" of Western civilizations, Swedish author and political activist Lindqvist (The Skull Measurer's Mistake) argues that before the development of powered flight, bombs delivered from the air were regarded as an efficient way to kill large groups of people at a safe distance. What the bombs and rockets have from the beginning been intended to do, he continues, is slaughter "others" and "outsiders"--"peoples of color" who will not submit to imperialism, or who are just somehow in the way. Lindqvist offers here a work whose format is more striking than its contents. The book, translated by Berkeley Scandinavian studies professor Linda Haverty Rugg, is composed of excerpts and vignettes, drawn from remarkably diverse sources on aerial bombardment, and numbered 1 to 399, proceeding chronologically from the A.D. 762 to 1999, but mostly concerning the 20th century. (Number 155 begins, "During the 1920s, novels about the future often dealt with a time of barbarism.") Most intriguingly, according to Lindqvist, the widespread use of aerial bombardment by Western states against each other in the two world wars was an anomaly made possible not by dehumanizing, but by "dewesternizing" the targets. The end of the Cold War stripped away the mask; Kosovo was only the first stage of an aerial reign of terror. Lindqvist's case, too simplistic and too overstated to be convincing, is nevertheless powerful. His juxtaposition of fact-based history with passages taken from survivalist fiction, racist fantasies like The Turner Diaries and dystopian future-war predictions demonstrates the extent to which aerial bombing is regarded as an ultimate weapon for destroying the opposition. Anyone who thought twice about what happened in the Gulf War or Kosovo will find this intentionally fragmentary analysis compelling; others will be less sympathetic.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A profound litany of what might someday be considered among the most counterproductive military actions ever taken. -- The Nation
An original work, written with a moral passion that is uncommon. -- Sunday Times [London]
Continuously interesting, often fascinating. -- Financial Times
Extraordinary and beautifully written. -- San Francisco Chronicle
Impassioned, wide-ranging. -- The Times [London]
Lindqvist plots a clear path towards the ever more horrendous holocausts that lie ahead. It is gripping stuff. -- New Statesman
Profoundly disquieting, but that obviously is Lindqvist's ultimate purpose. -- Associated Press