From Publishers Weekly
Barkun (Religion and the Racist Right), professor emeritus of political science at Syracuse University, explores "the gap between the reality of terrorism and the imagined threat of terrorism" in this timely if academic study. Linking this gap between reality and paranoia to the Bush administration's "overreaction" to terrorist threats—especially the unprecedented expansion of government power and the development of a "cumbersome homeland security bureaucracy"—the author focuses on "the issue of unseen dangers." Jargon—modalities of invisibility, "differential focusing," "convergent disinterest"—and analytical overindulgence will likely put off general readers, but Barkun convincingly lays out powerful arguments—including that "destruction fantasies" pervasive in popular culture contribute to creating an inner "landscape of fear." Without being too specific in his prescriptions, Barkun suggests that understanding the gulf between reality and imagination will restore a "proportional conception of terrorism and homeland security." Scholars, students, and policy makers will find much to ponder in this rigorous examination of homeland security and its demons. (Apr.)
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"Convincingly lays out powerful arguments. . . . Scholars, students, and policy makers will find much to ponder in this rigorous examination of homeland security and its demons."
"Induces an original and elaborate conceptual framework, drawing selectively upon an eclectic range of interdisciplinary sources. . . . Barkun's book is an important touchstone as we enter the post-post-September 11 world."
-Political Science Quarterly