Saturday, August 18, 2007

Suicide of Reason? Radical Islam and the West

I picked up a copy of Lee Harris' new book yesterday, The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West. I've just read the preface thus far, but I thought I'd share a blurb from the book jacket with readers. This is what John McWhorter had to say about the volume:

Once again Lee Harris throws cold water on thinking Americans' tendency to view Islamist terrorists as noble freedom fighters in the vein of black Americans during the civil rights movement or East Timorese throwing off the Indonesian yoke. Harris understands that we are faced with an ememy who seeks not reasoned negotiation but the destruction of the Western way of life, and that holding to self-critical, multi-culti pieties during this crisis will spell self-sabotage.
I'm familiar with some of Harris' other writings. He's also the author of Civilization and its Enemies.

Plus, his article in Policy Review, "
The Intellectual Origins of Anti-Americanism," is a modern classic. Here's a great quote from that article, dissecting blame-America ideology, which holds the United States as the source of evil in the world:
America-bashing is anti-Americanism at its most radical and totalizing. Its goal is not to advise, but to condemn; not to fix, but to destroy. It repudiates every thought of reform in any normal sense; it sees no difference between American liberals and American conservatives; it views every American action, both present and past, as an act of deliberate oppression and systemic exploitation. It is not that America went wrong here or there; it is that it is wrong root and branch. The conviction at the heart of those who engage in it is really quite simple: that America is an unmitigated evil, an irredeemable enormity.
Harris' stuff is great. Happy reading!

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