The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians: Why It Has Always Failed and Why It Will Fail Again, Carr, Caleb

The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians: Why It Has Always Failed and Why It Will Fail Again

Authors: Carr, Caleb

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781588362056

Classification: Fiction

Synopsis: In The Lessons of Terror, novelist and military historian Caleb Carr examines terrorism throughout history and the roots of our present crisis and reaches a provocative set of conclusions: the practice of targeting enemy civilians is as old as warfare itself; it has always failed as a military and political tactic; and despite the dramatic increases in its scope and range of weapons, it will continue to fail in the future.

International terrorism—the victimization of unarmed civilians in an attempt to affect their support for the government that leads them—is a phrase with which Americans have become all too familiar recently. Yet while at first glance terrorism seems a relatively modern phenomenon, Carr illustrates that it has been a constant of military history. In ancient times, warring armies raped and slaughtered civilians and gratuitously destroyed property, homes, and cities; in the Middle Ages, evangelical Muslims and Christian crusaders spread their faiths by the sword; and in the early modern era, such celebrated kings as Louis XIV revealed a taste for victimizing noncombatants for political purposes.

It was during the Civil War that Americans themselves first engaged in “total war,” the most egregious of the many euphemisms for the tactics of terror. Under the leadership of such generals as Stonewall Jackson, the forces of the South tried to systematize this horrifying practice; but it fell to a Union general, William Tecumseh Sherman, to achieve that dubious goal. Carr recounts Sherman’s declaration of war on every man, woman, and child in the South—a policy that he himself knew was badly flawed, had nothing to do with his military successes (indeed, it hampered them), and brought long-term unrest to the American South by giving birth to the Ku Klux Klan.

Carr’s exploration of terror reveals its consistently self-defeating nature. Far from prompting submission, Carr argues, terrorism stiffens enemy resolve: for this reason above all, terrorism has never achieved—nor will it ever achieve—long-term success, however physically destructive and psychologically debilitating it may become. With commanding authority and the storyteller’s gift for which he is renowned, Caleb Carr provides a critical historical context for understanding terrorist acts today, arguing that terrorism will be eradicated only when it is perceived as a tactic that brings nothing save defeat to its agents.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

LightSail Blog
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
1 2 3 4 5 6 … 576 Next »"All Labor Has Dignity" | King..."All the Real Indians Died Off..."Dearest Georg": Love, Literat..."I Love Paul Revere, Whether H..."I Love You… Read more
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
1 2 3 4 5 6 … 576 Next »"All Labor Has Dignity" | King..."All the Real Indians Died Off..."Dearest Georg": Love, Literat..."I Love Paul Revere, Whether H..."I Love You… Read more
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
1 2 3 4 5 6 … 576 Next »"All Labor Has Dignity" | King..."All the Real Indians Died Off..."Dearest Georg": Love, Literat..."I Love Paul Revere, Whether H..."I Love You… Read more

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.