The Rage and the Pride
Author: Oriana Fallaci
Oriana Fallaci faces the themes unchained by the Islamic terrorism: the contrast and, in her opinion, incompatibility between the Islamic world and the Western world; the global reality of the Jihad and the lack of response, the lenience of the West. With her brutal sincerity she hurls pitiless accusations, vehement invectives, and denounces the uncomfortable truths that all of us know but never dare to express. With her rigorous logic, lucidity of mind, she defends our culture and blames what she calls our blindness, our deafness, our masochism, the conformism and the arrogance of the Politically Correct. With the poetry of a prophet like a modern Cassandra she says it in the form of a letter addressed to all of us.
Noted Italian journalist Fallaci (Interview with History; etc.) is capable of hard-hitting, trenchant social criticism, but she fails to accomplish that in this impassioned but sloppy post-September 11 critique, which has been a bestseller in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Fallaci only aggravates her lack of rigorous thinking by translating the work herself, resulting in a clumsy text that appears not to have been edited or proofread by a fluent English speaker. (Whatever resonance "cicada"-her choice term for the "so-called intellectuals" whom she addresses-has in Italian fails to translate into English.) After a melodramatic preface in which Fallaci congratulates herself on her courage in speaking the truth (and in her defense, apparently there have been efforts to ban the book in France), she lights into the European, and especially Italian, "cicadas" who felt that, on September 11, 2001, America got what she had coming to her and who, in the name of political correctness, fail to condemn the "Reverse Crusade" being waged by Islamic zealots like Osama bin Laden. But Fallaci's love for America, her adopted home, and her critique of European intellectuals' perverse contempt for it, is laced with a bile that may lead readers to suspect her of anti-Arab bias-a possibility she is all to aware of, repeatedly defending herself against the charge of racism. Fallaci's "Italy for Italians" diatribe, her ugly portrait of Muslim immigrants as invading and violating her native Florence ("Terrorists, thieves, rapists. Ex-convicts, prostitutes, beggars. Drug-dealers, contagiously ill"), her denial that there is a moderate Islam, will not sit well with American readers, who may wonder why this small book has, in the publisher's words, "caused a turmoil never registered in decades" in Italy, France and Spain. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Biography
Author: Louise Krasniewicz
From his role in The Terminator to his more recent work as "Governator" of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has played a major role in American popular culture. This accessible and entertaining biography traces the trajectory of Arnold's career-sports figure turned movie star turned entrepreneur turned politician. Elected as governor of California in 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger now dramatically and vividly represents the determination and, to a great extent, the relentlessness necessary for achieving great fame, political power, and iconic status. While many readers will have read about his benchmark achievements, this biography will reveal the surprising complexities behind the public scenes and put them into a larger cultural context. Photos and a timeline of significant events round out this insightful biography.