Lesser Evil: Political Ethics In An Age Of Terror

Paperback | May 18, 2004

byMichael Ignatieff

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In the age of terrorism, the temptations of ruthlessness can be overwhelming. But there is also the anxiety that a violent response to violence makes us morally indistinguishable from our enemies.

There is perhaps no greater political challenge today than trying to win the war against terrorism without losing our democratic souls. Michael Ignatieff confronts this challenge head-on with a combination of pragmatic idealism, historical sensitivity, and astute political judgment.

Ignatieff traces the modern history of terrorism and counter-terrorism from the nihilists of Czarist Russia and the militias of Weimar Germany to the IRA and Al Qaeda. He shows how the most potent response to terror has been force, decisive and direct, but—just as important—restrained. Restraint also gives democracy its strongest weapon: the moral power to endure when the furies of vengeance and hatred are spent.

Finalist for the 2004 Lionel Gelber Award

"An impeccably argued case for how to balance security and liberty in the face of the new kind of threat posed by today's terrorists…"—Publishers Weekly

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From Our Editors

There is perhaps no greater political challenge today than trying to win the war against terror without losing our democratic souls, according to Michael Ignatieff, who confronts this challenge head-on in "The Lesser Evil."

From the Publisher

In the age of terrorism, the temptations of ruthlessness can be overwhelming. But there is also the anxiety that a violent response to violence makes us morally indistinguishable from our enemies. There is perhaps no greater political challenge today than trying to win the war against terrorism without losing our democratic souls. Mich...

Michael Ignatieff is a distinguished author of both fiction and non-fiction. His novel Scar Tissue was short-listed for the Booker Prize, while The Russian Album, a family memoir, won the Governor General’s Award and the Heinemann Prize from Britain’s Royal Society of Literature. His work on ethnic nationalism in the 1990s resulted in ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.49 inPublished:May 18, 2004Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143017357

ISBN - 13:9780143017356

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From Our Editors

There is perhaps no greater political challenge today than trying to win the war against terror without losing our democratic souls, according to Michael Ignatieff, who confronts this challenge head-on in "The Lesser Evil."

Editorial Reviews

"It is not a criticism but the highest praise to say that The Lesser Evil, Michael Ignatieff's new book, takes the difficult middle ground.....Many thanks to him for encouraging us so wisely and so well." - Globe and Mail