Hold Ev­ery­thing Dear: Dis­patches on Sur­vival and Re­sis­tance

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

IS con­tem­po­rary ter­ror­ism the prod­uct of un­end­ing de­spair, as John Berger sug­gests? Be­yond any strate­gic mo­tives, does the sui­cide bomber score some in­ner vic­tory against ‘‘ the pas­siv­ity, the bit­ter­ness, the sense of ab­sur­dity’’ that comes from decades of liv­ing in a refugee camp, the sense ‘‘ that your life and the lives of those close to you count for noth­ing’’? How dif­fer­ent is that from liv­ing in a to­tal­i­tar­ian state? Berger, strong- willed as ever, warns that counter- strate­gies de­vised by politi­cians ‘‘ to whom such de­spair is unimag­in­able’’ will only re­cruit ‘‘ more and more en­e­mies’’. By John Berger Verso, 142pp, $ 48

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