Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History
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Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Unlike those who see the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as the outbreak of a new war between radical Muslims and modern Americans, Harris views those attacks as the decisive reemergence of an ancient cultural conflict stretching back to Sparta and Rome. Elaborating on three controversial articles originally appearing in Policy Review, Harris argues that terrorists struck agains...more
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Published February 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published February 3rd 2004)
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Dpdwyer
This was, for me, a new way to look at world history, as not so much a clash of civilizations (although that occurs) but as a war between civilization and its opposite, which he terms ruthless gangs. He compares societies where the primary loyalty is to the family, clan, or group, and societies where loyalty is to society or "the team." This team idea arose in Sparta out of what he calls the "boy's gang" and evolved through Rome into today's liberal, capitalistic societies where hierarchy is no...more
Michael Connolly
This book is far away from the boilerplate rhetoric generally found in right-wing polemics. Harris comes across as a classicist, philosopher and historian.
We in the West have been civilized and safe for so long that we have forgotten the concept of "the enemy". The enemy is a threat to our survival. It is a mistake to see the enemy as a rational actor. The enemy hates us for reasons that are not based on reality, but on fantasy. Therefore we cannot reason with the enemy, and must instead use fo...more
Ray
Unlike those who see the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as the outbreak of a new war between radical Muslims and modern Americans, Harris views those attacks as the decisive reemergence of an ancient cultural conflict stretching back to Sparta and Rome. Elaborating on three controversial articles originally appearing in Policy Review, Harris argues that terrorists struck against the U.S. not so much to wage war as to act out the histrionic script of a fantasy ideology in which religious zealotry enfo...more
Mark Sandbothe
At first I was sympathetic with the author's viewpoint. The truth is that our society has become much too relativistic. I can state with verity that there are some cultural values that are better than others. I also agree that you can't negotiate with a terrorist organization. They don't live in or share the same worldview as rational people. The only way to interact with them is to kill them. I also agree that in our current state of civilization we have truly forgotten what it means to struggl...more
Diane
This book was both interesting, original, and somewhat frustrating. It was one of those that made me wish I could give half stars, because I think it deserves three and a half stars. The book begins with a chapter on the 9/11 attacks, and how they represented an attack on civilization itself. The author spends the next several chapters on a history of civilization. However, he never brings the argument full circle, so the book feels like two long, unrelated articles as opposed to a coherent whol...more
Paul
It would be a pity if this book were ignored. It runs the risk of being ignored because its author thinks for himself, and deeply. Moreover, he is not afraid to follow his thought to its logical conclusions and in the process say things that will win him few enthusiastic allies. His objectivity—an almost clinical detachment at times—can be frankly appalling. The book also runs the parallel risk of not being attended with the seriousness it deserves because many of its components, whether contain...more
Jim Johnson
The author attempts to justify outright bigotry and racism by glorifying American military imperialism and labeling every Muslim on the planet as our "enemy". This book was incredibly disappointing.
George
This author is a CONSERVATIVE who gives no quarter to naive liberals. Also, it ran 9 hours, 35 minutes; he could have gotten his point across in 35 minutes (or less). I tend to agree with his thesis, that the USA is the next stage of civilization because it's a multicultural society that is able to get along without the traditional violence or without a tyrant in charge. But...the story draaaaggs ooonnn. Read the first chapter and throw away the rest.
Taft Babbitt
A really interesting book about what it means to have an enemy and how societies/civilizations have delt with that reality in history. A pretty quick read the author is good about staying focused on his message and not drowning the reader in philosophy or too much history.
Suz
This is a very interesting book. It's pretty philosophical, though. And the author assumes that the reader has read up on all their philosophers, which led to me muddling through large sections. It's definitely a thinking book.
Kessa
One of the best books for understanding the mindset of the sheep.
Scarlet
Why did it feel like extreme ranting, pro-war propaganda?
Calebva
Suggested by a friend.
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A pseudonym used by Syrell Leahy.

Lee Harris is the author of the mystery novels featuring ex-nun Christine Bennett, who first appeared in The Good Friday Murder, an Edgar Award nominee. She also writes the New York Mysteries, which debuted with Murder in Hell's Kitchen. In 2001, Lee Harris received the Romantic Times magazine Career Achievement Award for her distinguished contribution to crime wri...more
More about Lee Harris...
The Good Friday Murder (Christine Bennett, #1) The Yom Kippur Murder (Christine Bennett, #2) The Christening Day Murder (Christine Bennett, #3) The St. Patrick's Day Murder (Christine Bennett, #4) The Thanksgiving Day Murder (Christine Bennett, #6)

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