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The Final Frontier: Science, America and Terror

The Final Frontier: Science, America and Terror (Hardback)

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In this highly original and thought provoking work Dominick Jenkins provides a meticulously researched history of the First World War origins of the current relationship between the American Presidency and the US weapons laboratories. Jenkins shows how Woodrow Wilson and the first modern weapons laboratories present Americans as living on a new high-technology frontier. They were faced by German and Russian "outlaws" whose aircraft and poison gas would soon threaten them with annihilation from the air. Tragically this depiction undermined the post-war opportunity for peace and prepared the way for a century of war. The comparisons Jenkins draws with the contemporary situation are clear and compelling: As with the German sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, the 11 September attacks are now being used to convince Americans to back the expansion of presidential power with a permanent war against rogue states and terrorists. But the history of the weapons laboratories underscores the danger. The post Cold war opportunity for peace may be lost, and the memory of that chance erased.

This book is a clarion call to join the resistance against te return of empire ands a stirring manifesto for the emerging global peace movement. Throughout, Jenkins shows how suppressed conceptions of ethics, liberal democracy, military policy, science, and invention can provide us with the means to resist the return of world war. Engaging with theorists such as Foucalt, Lyotard and Agamben, the Final Frontier crosses the boundaries between history, ethics, law, politics, and science, developing a powerful and highly topical argument through the use of vivid historical examples. It will be of interest not only to specialists but to anyone interested in the history of science, technology, and the military, as well as providing compelling reading for activists in the peace, environmental, and anti-globalization movements.

Dominick Jenkins has worked for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He is a researcher at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.

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