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Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin other formats – September 30, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1594512766 ISBN-10: 1594512760 Edition: First Printing

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers; First Printing edition (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594512760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594512766
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,092,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book gets at the deeper stories about how we view the world and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it. It's all the more important when we're being told to embrace a future of perpetual war. -- Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen There is a great deal to praise here. The writing is clear, lively, engaging, and accessible. The analysis is smart, well informed, perceptive, and revealing. The topic is of great interest and importance. I'm very impressed by what Prof. Chernus has done. -- Bruce Lincoln, Caroline E. Haskell Professor of History of Religions, History of Culture, and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago. Monsters to Destroy takes an incisive look at the stories we are told-and tell ourselves -about evil forces and American responses. Ira Chernus pushes beyond standard political rhetoric and media cliches to examine psychological mechanisms that freeze our concepts of the world. Monsters to Destroy offers a very helpful antidote to the venom that top U.S. officials have propagated since September 11, 2001. -- Norman Solomon, author, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death Monsters to Destroy is a must-read for all those concerned about the reckless and dangerous role the United States now plays in the world and its interrelationship with religious conservative moralism on the home front. Ira Chernus puts forward a convincing and rather disturbing analysis of the lens through which President Bush sees the world and how he communicates what amounts to a simplistic morality tale to the American people. In doing so, Professor Chernus provides important answers to the questions as to why the Bush administration does what it does and how they get away with it. -- Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco Ira Chernus brings the discerning eye of an historian of religions to the dense and jarring tangle of national stories we tell about ourselves. Whether reflecting on 'conservative moralism,' or 'liberal internationalism,' Chernus asks his readers to step back, to think outside of what he considers the apocalyptic allure of stories that lead only to more violence. His is a clear, critical, important voice, and this a book worth engaging no matter what individual stories readers bring to it. -- Edward T. Linenthal, editor of Journal of American History and author of The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory

From the Publisher

"This book gets at the deeper stories about how we view the world and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it. It’s all the more important when we’re being told to embrace a future of perpetual war." —Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen

"There is a great deal to praise here. The writing is clear, lively, engaging, and accessible. The analysis is smart, well informed, perceptive, and revealing. The topic is of great interest and importance. I'm very impressed by what Prof. Chernus has done." —Bruce Lincoln, Caroline E. Haskell Professor of History of Religions, History of Culture, and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago.

"Monsters to Destroy" takes an incisive look at the stories we are told—and tell ourselves —about evil forces and American responses. Ira Chernus pushes beyond standard political rhetoric and media cliches to examine psychological mechanisms that freeze our concepts of the world. Monsters to Destroy offers a very helpful antidote to the venom that top U.S. officials have propagated since September 11, 2001." —Norman Solomon, author, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

"Monsters to Destroy is a must-read for all those concerned about the reckless and dangerous role the United States now plays in the world and its interrelationship with religious conservative moralism on the home front. Ira Chernus puts forward a convincing and rather disturbing analysis of the lens through which President Bush sees the world and how he communicates what amounts to a simplistic morality tale to the American people. In doing so, Professor Chernus provides important answers to the questions as to why the Bush administration does what it does and how they get away with it." —Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco

"Ira Chernus brings the discerning eye of an historian of religions to the dense and jarring tangle of national stories we tell about ourselves. Whether reflecting on ‘conservative moralism,’ or ‘liberal internationalism,’ Chernus asks his readers to step back, to think outside of what he considers the apocalyptic allure of stories that lead only to more violence. His is a clear, critical, important voice, and this a book worth engaging no matter what individual stories readers bring to it." —Edward T. Linenthal, editor of Journal of American History and author of The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Laszlo Hopp on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Through writings of a wide range of intellectuals and speeches by G.W.Bush, Ira Chernus gives a compelling overwiev of today's ideological trends in US policy making.

Although 9/11 and Iraq are duly mentioned in various sections, Ira Chernus does not spend much time on specific events rather, focuses on the philosophical driving force behind them. Much of his attention is devoted to the neoconservatives who, even today, seem to have an almost exclusive influence on US foreign policy. He reveals step by step, how "... Conservative moralists fuse politics, nationalism, culture and religion into a single arena...". The role of Evangelical Christians and liberal internationalists in this process is briefly but succinctly discussed.

Overall, he suggests that by reducing important questions to Biblical simplicity, the government has successfully maintained fear as the determining feeling in the American society.

Reading the passages from the neocon thinkers, I got cold shivers, as they twisted the noble concepts of Freedom, Democracy, Justice and Morals to paternalistic, self serving tools for their hegemonic ambitions. I may have questioned the accuracy or context of some of the quotes, had I not read the Project for the New American Century's report, Rebuilding America's Defenses that apparently staked out US foreign policy since its publication in September, 2000.

In summary, anyone who is in the majority camp of ideologically uncommitted, or who has even the slightest doubt about the purity, rightousness, unselfishness and piety of today's US foreign and domestic policy, should read this book to be able to reevaluate whether their view of the country is correct.
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