War Time, by Mary L. Dudziak

Spring books

One of the notable features of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been its disavowal of the locution, if not necessarily the policies, of the “war on terror” declared by George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Apparently wary of committing himself rhetorically to a war with no conceivable conclusion, Obama has sustained many of the liberty-averse, antiterrorist practices of the Bush administration, while muting the war word.

This difference might be said to be purely semantic. But semantics can matter a great deal, as historian and legal scholar Mary Dudziak demonstrates in this brief, accessible and provocative study of the idea of wartime in recent American political and legal history.

 

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