Description - Romantics at War by George Philip Fletcher
America is at war with terrorism. Terrorists must be brought to justice. We hear these phrases together so often that we rarely pause to reflect on the dramatic differences between the demands of war and the demands of justice, differences so deep that the pursuit of one often comes at the expense of the other. In this text, George Fletcher brings much-needed clarity to the still unfolding debates about how to pursue war and justice in the age of terrorism. He also combines insights from history, philosophy, literature and law to place these debates in a cultural context. He seeks to explain why Americans - for so many years cynical about war - have recently found war so appealing. He finds the answer in a revival of Romanticism, a growing desire in the post-Vietnam era to identify with grand causes and to put nations at the centre of ideas about glory and guilt. Fletcher opens with unsettling questions about the nature of terrorism, war and justice, showing how dangerously slippery the concepts can be.
He argues that those sympathetic to war are heirs to the ideals of Byron, Fichte and other Romantics in their belief that nations - not just individuals - must uphold honour and be held accountable for crimes. Fletcher writes that ideas about collective glory and guilt are far more plausible and widespread than liberal individualists typically recognize. However, as he traces the implications of the Romantic mindset for debates about war crimes, treason, military tribunals and genocide, he also shows that losing oneself in a grand cause can all too easily lead to moral catastrophe.
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(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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Book Reviews - Romantics at War by George Philip Fletcher
Author Biography - George Philip Fletcher
George P. Fletcher is Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia University. His books include "Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships", "Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy", "With Justice for Some: Victims' Rights in Criminal Trials", and "A Crime of Self-Defense: Bernhard Goetz and the Law on Trial". He is a frequent commentator in the media on legal affairs.