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America's Addiction to Terrorism

by Henry A. Giroux Monthly Review Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 192 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
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In the United States today, the term "terrorism" conjures up images of dangerous, outside threats: religious extremists and suicide bombers in particular. Harder to see but all the more pervasive is the terrorism perpetuated by the United States itself, whether through military force overseas or woven into the very fabric of society at home. Henry Giroux, in this passionate and incisive book, turns the conventional wisdom on terrorism upside down, demonstrating how fear and lawlessness have become organizing principles of life in the United States, and violence an acceptable form of social mediation. He addresses the most pressing issues of the moment, from officially sanctioned torture to militarized police forces to austerity politics. Giroux also examines the ongoing degradation of the education system and how young people in particular suffer its more nefarious outcomes. Against this grim picture, Giroux posits a politics of hope and a commitment to accurate-and radical-historical memory. He draws on a long, distinguished career developing the tenets of critical pedagogy to propose a cure for our addiction to terrorism: a kind of "public pedagogy" that challenges the poisoned narratives of "America's dis-imagination machine."
Important, compelling and incisive. Offering a different angle of vision on the question ‘What actually is terror?,’ Henry Giroux shows his courage and unique ability to reveal the hidden order of politics. In doing so, not only does he expose those modes of oppression and violence that are part of the everyday political fabric of American society, he impresses the urgency of critical pedagogy - more than simply a question of some ‘public good’ - because lives depend upon it!

- Brad Evans, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bristol; founder and director of the Histories of Violence project

Henry Giroux is one of the singular intellects in contemporary life, a sane, compassionate, and fierce voice against the society of domination, inequality and the madness of ruthless Imperialist conquest.

- John Steppling, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist

America’s Addiction to Terrorism catapults Henry Giroux as one of the most important North American public intellectual voices in the tradition of Noam Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn. While courageous in posture, Giroux effortlessly demonstrates that the denouncement of the imperial desires, practices, and violence perpetrated by the United States through the fabricated war on terror narrative simply demands honesty - a coherent honesty which makes it clear that, behind an act of violence in ‘retail terrorism,’ there is always a prior state officially sanctioned violence. Giroux brilliantly and passionately unveils the structural racism etched in the white American supremacist ethos that condones the wanton killings of Black youth by white policemen with impunity by deconstructing the ‘school-to-jail-to-grave pipeline’ which has become the main principle that informs and deforms the anti-transformative corporate school reforms. America’s Addiction to Terrorism is a must read for all citizens and educators, particularly critical educators, as it challenges us all to go beyond the crass careerism of neoliberal policies and walk the necessary talk of educated hope, liberation, and human emancipation.

- Donaldo Macedo, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education, University of Massachusetts Boston
Henry A. Giroux is a social critic and educator. He currently holds the Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies at McMaster University,Ontario.

Henry Giroux holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. A founding figure in the movement for critical pedagogy and author of more than sixty books, including America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth, he is one of North America’s most influential public intellectuals. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association.