Sunday, November 13, 2005

Book Review: Terror - A meditation on the meaning of September 11

John Carroll's Terror: A Meditation on the Meaning of September 11 is a fast-paced extended essay on the deeper meaning of the terrorist attacks on Septerm 11, 2001 - an event that touched the whole world and changed it forever. Carroll's essential point is that September 11 has exposed Western culture as one which is addicted to excess and the avoidance of inner self-knowledge. The West, devoid of any real psychic substance, is incapable of dealing with the under-appreciated reality of Usama bin Laden's global terrorist network unless it takes immediate and careful stock of itself. The author's style is fast-paced, emotional, and draws on a diverse range of metaphors that almost fall over themselves on the page. Carroll mines the ancient Greek gods, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, modern American films, and biblical stories in his attempt to bring meaning out of the devastation of September 11. Terror is, indeed, a meditation. It is passionate, reflective, ruminating, and one-sided. Don't expect a balanced presentation of views in this brief 103-page essay. It is provocative and demands consideration and should be read for what it is - 'a warning ... a call to arms ... a testament to the power of the human imagination.' It is a tract for our times that needs to be heard and critically evaluated because, if it is correct in its understanding of the West, then there's a lot of work to be done if we are going to face the challenges of the future. Related Links

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