"Walzer's discussion about war and ethics are always provocative, well argued, and insightful. He is able to transform complex issues into readable, understandable, and persuasive prose."Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World
Author Biography: Michael Walzer is UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of more than a dozen books, including On Toleration, The Jewish Political Tradition, Volumes I and II, and 50 Years of Dissent, all published by Yale University Press.
Also available by Michael Walzer: On Toleration
Walzer (Just and Unjust Wars) collects previously published pieces from the last 15 years that dramatize and discuss the ethical dilemmas of military intervention in emergency situations, after terrorism and during foreign civil wars. Walzer's consideration of pros and cons can be so theoretically oriented that it is difficult to tell where he stands precisely, but it is clear that he believes officers must require risk-taking in battle and soldiers should undertake it. He does not have anything good to say about pacifists and works to refute arguments on the left claiming that the terrorism originating in the developing world should be thought of differently than that originating elsewhere. Rwanda's ethnic cleansing, the Gulf War and Kosovo's bloody move toward independence all serve as case studies, often as facts on the ground were developing or before they developed; writing before the Iraq War, Walzer weighs military occupation in Iraq against the possibility of a better political regime and follows that with a provocative, counterintuitive argument that France, in particular, but also Germany and Russia, bear a heavy responsibility for the United States' decision to preemptively attack. Events are outpacing some of Walzer's deliberations, but his case studies put the issues at stake in relief, regardless of whether one accepts his conclusions. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.