To think about genocide and terrorism is to accept an invitation from hell. In fact, hell may be too benign a term since it makes a kind of sense out of genocide and terrorism and ultimately begs the question: What is genocide? What sense does it make to kill or disable all members of an other group just because they are that other group: men, women, children? What sense can we make of genocide? The very meaning of 'sense' threatens to disintegrate. Get 'Em All! Kill 'Em! is the first systematic attempt to understand what, up until now, has seemed inexplicable. Author Bruce Wilshire uncovers what seems to be the deepest root of the genocidal urge: disgust and dread in the face of abounding, fecund, life itself_swarming, creeping, scurrying, unboundable, and uncontrollable. If his claims about the genocidal urge is true, genocide and terrorism are the ultimate anti-ecology. Get 'Em All! Kill 'Em! is a rare and seminal work by a distinguished and original thinker.
Bruce Wilshire is Senior Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
Wilshire has taken what most people feel is unfathomable-genocide and terrorism-and illuminated the web of dark forces that can explode forth into such heinous acts. He allows us to see how the cycles of suffering and anxiety work through our collective bodies and group symbolism to trap us all within a nightmare of violence and further suffering. Yet, he doesn't stop there, as he also shows how we can awake from this nightmare through an unconventional sense of the sacred, a way of boundary crossing found within nature, and a different attunement to the universe. Bravo for thinking through "the unthinkable!"
Glen A. Mazis, author of Earthbodies and Emotion and Embodiment
This is a provocative, stimulating read. Highly recommended.
Bruce Wilshire's book Get 'Em All! Kill 'Em! is a fascinating and important study of issues that could not be more crucial to our perilous times. . . . I know of no other study that looks to these utterly concrete, yet very elusive, roots of the major destructive actions of the last one hundred years, continuing to this day. It should stand by itself as a book that will draw a lot of attention from the reading public as well as from academics who know WIlshire's previously published distinguished work.
Edward S. Casey, Professor of Philosophy, SUNY-Stonybrook
Already well on his way with Wild Hunger; in Get 'Em All! Kill 'Em! we find the distinctively original discursive style and thematic substance of Bruce Wilshire. The engaging entwinement of style and provocative, thought-provoking content just carried me along to the end. A remarkable achievement!
Calvin O. Schrag, George Ade Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Purdue University
It is not only the deceptively simple and lucid theory of genocide that we must honor here, but the way in which Wilshire gradually densifies and intensifies the theory, drawing us inexorably into the dark heart of the world's polarized present, at the sharp tooth-edge of history and of our own possible extinction.
David Abram, author ofThe Spell of the Sensuous
This is philosophy that matters: soaring thought on a vital topic expressed in an accessible, elegant style. Not everyone will agree with Wilshire's understanding of genocide, but everyone needs to be familiar with it. Wilshire is one of a vanishing breed of public intellectuals who addresses the mind of our community and appeals to its conscience. Must reading.
John Lachs, Vanderbilt University
Wilshire is a prophet of disaster and a child with saving news. We find deep insight in this book - from the Qur'an and the Gospels, from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and William James. We learn from Emerson, that great "optimist," that along side a human hope is a persisting, sudden, strange-uncanny - say the bare existence of rats and lizards, who are no less a part of our surround than its more noted inhabitants, and alien enough to challenge our grip on those basal human comforts - hope, understanding, health: for what are these to crawling things...? Of course, this is a book, as the title says, on genocide and terror. But it's also about compassion, crucifixion, King Lear, "poor forked creatures," Black Elk; it lives with that ancient epigraph on our lives: "many are the wonders and terrors, but none more wonderful (and terrible) than we. " It delivers an embodied human spirit, high and low and mediocre, in the flow and out of it, getting ice cream and wrestling with the unspeakable (which Wilshire so ably bespeaks). He is a philosopher in the spirit of Emerson and James, on the go, rushing at us like a Lion on the plain - then turning like a Greek Chorus to reflect soberly on our plight - then turning lightly to play in the curling surf for the moment numinous, enchanted.
Edward F. Mooney, author of Selves in Discord and Resolve: Essays in Kierkegaard's Moralreligious Psychology from Either/or to Sickness unto De
Wilshire's book is not only a good essay on genocide and terrorism, but also an invitation to be intellectually prepared for countering fundamentalism.
Political Studies Review
This is an epic study of genocide and terrorism. Congratulations on a superb achievement and hopes for the widest dissemination and discussion of the urgent issues it involves.
Dr. Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth