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“Because democracy is noble, it is always endangered. Nobility, indeed, is always in danger. Democracy is perishable. I think the natural government for most people, given the uglier depths of human nature, is fascism. Fascism is more of a natural state than democracy. To assume blithely that we can export democracy into any country we choose can serve paradoxically to encourage more fascism at home and abroad.”—Excerpted from Why Are We at War?
Why Are We at War? is an explosive argument about George W. Bush and his quest for empire. Norman Mailer lays bare the White House’s position on why war in Iraq is necessary and justified. By scrutinizing the administration’s words and actions leading up to the current crisis, Mailer carefully builds his case that Bush is pursuing war not in the name of security or anti-terrorism or human rights but in an undeclared yet fully realized ambition of global empire.
For more than fifty years, in classic works of both fiction and nonfiction, Mailer has persistently exposed the folly of the powerful and the mighty. Beginning with his debut masterpiece, The Naked and the Dead, Mailer has repeatedly told the truth about war and why men fight. Why Are We at War? returns Mailer to the subject he knows better than any other writer in America today: the gravity of the battlefield and the grand hubris of the politicians who send soldiers there to die.
Mailer also responds to controversial questions: Is Islam a peaceful religion?; Does evil exist? and Were the 9/11 terrorists evil?. He discusses both the nature of terrorism and corporate capitalism, and their ramifications for the human spirit and dignity. Additionally, he challenges the current rise of patriotism in America and sees it as endemic to a country that has now become an arrogant and vain empire rapdily in decline.
Why Are We at War? is not only a timely polemic, it is also an original and thought-provoking commentary on the current state of affairs in this new American century. This book should be read by students of International Relations, American Studies, and Political Science courses.