ISBN is

978-0-8050-6511-4 / 0805065113

Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism

by Lifton, Robert Jay

Publisher:Picador

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

Prices INCLUDE standard shipping to United States
Show prices without shipping
Change shipping destination
Shipping prices may be approximate. Please verify cost before checkout.

About the book:

The premise of Destroying the World to Save It is terrifying: after studying the history of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo (instigators of a 1995 nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway), the author believes them to be only one group in a "loosely connected, still-developing global subculture of apocalyptic violence." We ignore this subculture, says National Book Award winner Robert Jay Lifton, at our future peril. In interviews with former Aum members once led by the guru figure Shoko Asahara, it is their "familiar ordinariness" that most disturbs Lifton. Drawing parallels to his studies of Nazi psychology, he notes that--just as in Germany--practicing doctors and trained scientists were persuaded to join Aum and offer their specialized knowledge in the service of the cult's plans. The story of Aum, says Lifton, has for the first time shown the world that not only other states but more elusive groups less open to diplomacy may be able to gain control of weapons of mass destruction.

While Destroying the World to Save It is a deeply researched and intelligent psychological analysis, Lifton's conclusion is nevertheless unsatisfying. While surmising that those who next attempt to carry out an apocalyptic plan may be more powerful and competent than Aum, he does not really present a good suggestion for how to prevent their success, offering only a psychologist's "plea for awareness." One hopes his study will encourage activism against global terrorism as well. --Maria Dolan

Search under way...

Search complete.

Click on the price to find out more about a book.

New books: 1 - 25 of 63

   

Used books: 1 - 25 of 79


Book rentals: