Since 9/11, artists, philosophers, poets, theologians, preachers, politicians and businessmen continue to respond to the appreciable shift in world affairs set in motion by an act of terrorism which instilled fear not only in the hearts of Americans but also in the collective heart of the entire Western world. This book is French journalist and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy's reply. In his words, ''I could not prevent myself from seeing what I was seeing in the persistent light of what I had just experienced for months'': interviews with a repentant Sri Lankan kamikaze and a rampaging Columbian drug lord; the diamond mine slave trade in Angola which funds an endless war; reports on the ongoing carnage between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi; the war literature of Stendhal, Hemingway and Proust; and his own relationship with Ahmad Massoud, the anti-Taliban Afghan leader assassinated hours before the Twin Towers attack. Levy tells these relatively unknown (or ignored?) stories, drafting a better global map of the seismic complications each act of evil and war creates. He maintains that 9/11 is formative in that it ''tells us, finally, about the stubborn determination of our era to say nothing, nothing at all, about these black holes where the worst is brewing and where History itself seems either suspended or seized with madness.'' His prose is vivid, his thinking clear. He warns that ''the aestheticizing of war is always dangerous'' and urges us to take the responsibility of naming the enemy so that we can fight him. Yet Levy poignantly reminds us that the definition of jihad
(prior to the end of the eighteenth century) is essentially ''effort on the path of God'' -- a holy war, indeed, of the faithful working through prayer and asceticism to move closer to God.
An Eighth Day View:
From the maverick author of the international bestseller Who Killed Daniel Pearl? -- "a gripping blend of reportage and philosophy," according to The New York Times -- comes another startlingly original work of literature.
In WAR, EVIL AND THE END OF HISTORY, Bernard-Henri Levy continues his daring investigation into the breeding grounds of terrorism with a series of riveting first-person reports from five of the world's most horrific "forgotten" war zones. In Sri Lanka, he conducts a clandestine interview with a terrified young woman escaped from a suicide-bomber training camp . . . he journeys, blindfolded, into the Colombian jungle to interview a psychotic drug lord who considers himself the successor to Che Guevara and fronts a bloodthirsty "guerilla" army . . . Levy surreptitiously observes the nameless slaves working the diamond mines that fund an endless war in Angola . . . airdrops into a rebel stronghold in the blockaded Nuba mountains of the Sudan . . . and reports on the ongoing carnage in Burundi between Hutus and Tutsis. But Levy is more than just a journalist: as France's leading philosopher, he follows the reports with a series of intensely personal and probing "reflections" considering how, in an enlightened, cultured, and well-informed society, these wars have acquired such a perverse "non-meaning." He considers war literature from Stendhal, Hemingway, Proust and others, and issues an excoriating response to those who have glorified it. He reconsiders his own background as a student revolutionary in Paris in May 1968, and as a 22-year-old war reporter in Bangladesh. And, in one of the book's most moving passages, he recounts his travels with Ahmad Massoud, the anti-Taliban Afghan leader assassinated hours before the September 11 attacks. Already a huge bestseller in Europe, WAR, EVIL, AND THE END OF HISTORY is the work of a scintillating intellect at the height of its powers. Bernard-Henri Levy's previous book foresaw today's headlines about Pakistan's secret trading of nuclear technology and the nexus of terrorist groups behind the murder of Daniel Pearl. WAR, EVIL, AND THE END OF HISTORY is his brilliant foray into the next danger zones.