The Solution of the Fist

The Solution of the Fist : Dostoevsky and the Roots of Modern Terrorism

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The Solution of the Fist: Dostoevsky and the Roots of Modern Terrorism addresses the political and psychological aspects of terrorism as seen through the eyes of a first-generation observer of terrorism, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Through an in-depth analysis of the first novel ever written about terrorism,The Demons, this book explains Dostoevsky's uniquely privileged position in observing this modern political phenomenon.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 146 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739129856
  • 9780739129852

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Terrorism in the Age of Reason Chapter 2. Cosmopolitanism and Its Discontents Chapter 3. Cosmopolitan Politics Chapter 4. The Psychology of Cosmopolitanism Chapter 5. The Paradox of Nihilistic Terrorism Chapter 6. Demonic Shame
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Review quote

By exploring Dostoevsky's understanding of shame, humiliation, and cosmopolitanism, John Moran provides an alternative and insightful paradigm of the mind of the modern terrorist. Instead of seeing the terrorist mind as monolithic and nihilistic, Moran shows a variety of psychological types who are drawn to terrorism for a multiplicity of reasons and motivations. Moran's examination of terrorism in Dostoevsky's works returns us to the root psychological causes of terrorism that are often neglected by contemporary theories. This book then will be of interest not only to Dostoevsky scholars but also to those who want to understand how the modern terrorist mind operates and what we can do today to counter it. -- Lee Trepanier, Saginaw Valley State University Russians have long appreciated the uncanny accuracy with which Dostoevsky anticipated Stalin's terror in his depiction of the revolutionary mind in his novel Demons. In The Solution of the First, Jack Moran mines this and two other works of Dostoevsky for insights into the origins of modern political terrorism. His knowledge of the contemporary social science literature on terrorism enables him to show both the ways it confirms Dostoevsky and the ways in which Dostoevsky reveals a deeper understanding of this phenomenon. This book is valuable reading for anyone concerned with the threat of terrorism and the cultural resources available to society to combat it. -- Joseph Alulis, North Park University Despite their great differences, Nietzsche and Solzhenitsyn agree that the greatest psychologist of the nineteenth century was Dostoevsky. Everyone else-even or especially Hegel-was superficial by comparison. Only Dostoevsky predicted with any degree of astuteness that the latent nihilism of modern cosmopolitanism would generate the counter-nihilism of the various waves of modern terrorism. Jack Moran is the first author to flesh out Dostoevsky's psychological account of nihilistic terrorism, showing that seemingly inexplicable murder and cruelty can be accounted for by turning our attention to what we really can know about the human soul. This wonderful book is an indispensable guide for anyone seriously engaged in counter-terrorism studies. -- Peter Augustine Lawler, Berry College
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About John P. Moran

John P. Moran is associate professor of political science and international affairs at Kennesaw State University and author of From Garrison State to Nation State: The Russian Military and Political Power under Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
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