A Climate of Fear

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Fred Vargas was born in Paris in A historian and archaeologist by profession, she is now a bestselling novelist.

More about Fred Vargas. Delight is found not so much in the details of plot as in the oddities of character.

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The crime, the suspects, and the commissaire are all pleasantly off-kilter and equally baffling. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Paperback —. Add to Cart. In these lectures Soyinka addresses the 'climate of fear' that has gripped even the West in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the fall of He, for one, finds it hard to agree with the popular notion that "the world we once knew ended on September 11, ".

As Soyinka points out, much of the actual larger world -- beyond the provincial at least in mindset and awareness backwater that is the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe -- has long been faced both with threats and actual violence of a similar order of magnitude, and a general deep sense of insecurity. It is not a new phenomenon; what has changed is, largely, American awareness of it -- as well as America's peculiar reaction to it, essentially unilaterally tackling what it nevertheless tries to frame as a global problem.

One of Soyinka's first examples is the contrast in reactions to the Lockerbie disaster and the similar bombing of a UTA flight over Niger. The latter rated little attention in the West, but Soyinka thinks it had the more profound implications.


A Climate of Fear

He sees Libya's willingness to commit this act as a signal that anything goes, anywhere: even any idea of African solidarity was trumped by the desire to make a larger point: The implicit proclamation appeared to be that, in the new area of conflicts, there would be no cordon sanitaire, no sanctuary for innocents, no space that was out of bounds in the territorial claims of a widening climate of fear. Soyinka notes that a 'climate of fear' is familiar to all who have lived under totalitarian regimes -- much of the world's population -- but that nowadays: "It is the quasi-state that today instills the greatest fear".

His perspective is global: individual re actions -- by and in the US, Nigeria, Israel, among others -- are considered, but national interest is only one of the factors he allows for, insisting on the larger picture.

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