Al Qaeda and What It Means to be Modern

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571265529
Format: PDF, Mobi
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'The suicide warriors who attacked Washington and New York on September 11th, 2001, did more than kill thousands of civilians and demolish the World Trade Center. They destroyed the West's ruling myth.' So John Gray begins this short, powerful book on the belief that has dominated our minds for a century and a half - the idea that we are all, more or less, becoming modern and that as we become modern we will become more alike, and at the same time more familiar and more reasonable. Nothing could be further from the truth, Gray argues. Al Qaeda is a product of modernity and of globalisation, and it will not be the last group to use the products of the modern world in its own monstrous way. Gray pulls up by the roots the myth that the human condition can be remade by science and progress or political engineering. He describes with mordant irony the rise of Positivists, the strange sect that put science and technology at the centre of the cult and developed a religion of humanity. Through their influence on economists, politicians and biologists, they still powerfully affect the way we think. Gray looks at the various attempts to remake humanity, from the Bolshevik and Nazi disasters to the utopian experiments of modern radical Islam and the dreams of the prophets of globalisation. And he gives a scathing account of the real sources of conflict in the world, of American power and its illusions, and of the ways in which cultures will resist the reshaping we might wish on them.

Black Mass

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307374939
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Fascinating, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass looks at the historic and modern faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, but at what price? During the last century global politics was shaped by Utopian projects. Pursuing a dream of a world without evil, powerful states waged war and practised terror on an unprecedented scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, entire societies were destroyed. Utopian ideologies rejected traditional faiths and claimed to be based in science. They were actually secular versions of the myth of Apocalypse–the belief in a world-changing event that brings history, with all its conflicts, to an end. The war in Iraq was the last of these attempts at creating a secular Utopia, promising a new era of democracy and producing blood-soaked anarchy and an emerging theocracy instead. John Gray’s powerful and frightening new book argues that the death of Utopia does not mean peace. Instead it portends the resurgence of ancient myths, now in openly fundamentalist forms. Obscurely mixed with geo-political struggles for the control of natural resources, apocalyptic religion has returned as a major force in global conflict. From the Hardcover edition.

Two Faces of Liberalism Large Print 16pt

Author: John Gray
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459604679
Format: PDF, ePub
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Like its widely praised predecessor False Dawn, Two Faces of Liberalism, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as ''elegant and powerful, '' offers a thoughtful and provocative analysis of the liberal tradition in politics. John Gray, an eminent professor at the London School of Economics, ''picks large and interesting topics and says arresting things about them, '' according to the New York Review of Books. Two Faces of Liberalism argues that, in its beginning, liberalism contained two contradictory philosophies of tolerance. In one, it put forward the enlightenment vision of a universal civilization. In the other, it framed terms for peaceful coexistence between warring communities and between different ways of life. In this major contribution to political theory, Gray''s new book ''takes us beyond the current debate''(The New York Times Book Review) of traditional liberalism to keep up with the complex political realities of today''s increasingly divided world.

Enlightenment s Wake

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134097069
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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John Gray is the bestselling author of such books as Straw Dogs and Al Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern which brought a mainstream readership to a man who was already one of the UK's most well respected thinkers and political theorists. Gray wrote Enlightenment’s Wake in 1995 – six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and six years before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Turning his back on neoliberalism at exactly the moment that its advocates were in their pomp, trumpeting 'the end of history' and the supposedly unstoppable spread of liberal values across the globe, Gray’s was a lone voice of scepticism. The thinking he criticised here would lead ultimately to the invasion of Iraq. Today, its folly might seem obvious to all, but as this edition of Enlightenment’s Wake shows, John Gray has been trying to warn us for some fifteen years – the rest of us are only now catching up with him.

Confronting Al Qaeda

Author: Kevin McGrath
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
ISBN: 1612510337
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Blending academic objectivity with a clear agenda of devising a new strategic U.S. approach to Al Qaeda, McGrath proposes policy options for confronting terrorism. He asserts that Al Qaeda is primarily a political threat, rather than a military one that challenges the very nature of the U.S. political system and therefore requires a political response. He argues that while coercive means are necessary to reduce Al Qaeda’s capacity for violence, a coercive approach alone is insufficient. The U.S., McGrath contends, must politically undercut Al Qaeda by addressing key political disputes that fuel the US-Al Qaeda conflict in a manner consistent with traditional U.S. foreign policy values. He argues that not only will such an approach weaken Al Qaeda's internal cohesion and politically isolate Al Qaeda from the public that hides and assists it, but it will also stunt terrorism's subversive effects on the American political character.

The History of Terrorism

Author: Gérard Chaliand
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520292502
Format: PDF, Kindle
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First published in English in 2007 under title: The history of terrorism: from antiquity to al Qaeda.

Atomic Obsession

Author: John Mueller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199837090
Format: PDF
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John Mueller reveals in this compellingly argued book that our obsession with nuclear weapons is unsupported by history, scientific fact, or logic. Examining the entire atomic era, Mueller boldly contends that nuclear weapons have had little impact on history. Equally important, Atomic Obsession reveals that current anxieties about terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons are essentially baseless. Demolishing half-truths and false assumptions, this is an important argument that deserves a wide public hearing.

Gray s Anatomy

Author: John Gray
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141976543
Format: PDF
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From the author of Straw Dogs, John Gray's Gray's Anatomy is a pugnacious and brilliantly readable collection of essays from across his career. Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why do beliefs that humanity can be improved end in farce or horror? Is atheism a hangover from Christian faith? John Gray, one of the most iconoclastic thinkers of our time, smashes through civilization's most cherished beliefs, overturning our view of the world, and our place in it. 'The most prescient of British public intellectuals' Pankaj Mishra, Financial Times 'Gray has consistently anticipated the shape of things to come ... he teaches us that true humanism is to be found in uncertainty and doubt' Will Self 'Gray's dissection of modern delusion, cant and wishful thinking is to be welcomed in this moment of convulsion ... This is a book to learn from and argue with' Ben Wilson, Literary Review 'A thoroughly enjoyable book ... These essays cover a remarkable range of topics, from Isaiah Berlin to Damien Hirst, from torture to environmentalism. But their unifying theme is that our naïve belief in the idea of progress has turned modern life into a constant round of shadow-boxing' David Runciman, Observer 'Demolishes the theory that we have reached the "end of history", the dogmas of secular liberalism, the weaknesses of financial casino capitalism and the limits of energy-intensive economic growth' Economist John Gray is most recently the acclaimed author of Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions, Al Qaeda and What It Means To Be Modern and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. He is Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the University of London.

Agent Storm

Author: Morten Storm
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 080219236X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The true story of a jihadi convert seeking redemption in “a rollicking read and a rare insider’s account of Western spying in the age of al Qaeda” (The New York Times Book Review). Standing over six feet tall with flaming red hair, Morten Storm was an unlikely jihadi. But after a troubled youth in his native Denmark, Storm found peace and purpose in his conversion to Islam. His absolute devotion only grew after he attended a militant madrasa in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with American-born terrorist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Then, after a decade of jihadi life, he not only rejected extremism—he began a quest for atonement, becoming a double agent for the CIA as well as British and Danish intelligence agencies. Agent Storm takes readers inside the fanatical jihadist mindset and into the shadows of the world’s most powerful spy agencies in an action-packed account that “reads like a screenplay for a James Bond movie written by Joel and Ethan Coen” (The Washington Post).