Virtuous War is the first book to map the emergence and judge the consequences of a new military-industrial-media-entertainment network. James Der Derian takes the reader from a family history of war and genocide to new virtual battlespaces in the Mojave Desert, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and American universities. He tracks the convergence of cyborg technologies, video games, media spectacles, war movies, and do-good ideologies that produced a chimera of high-tech, low-risk ‘virtuous wars’.
In this newly updated edition, he reveals how a misguided faith in virtuous war to right the wrongs of the world instead paved the way for a flawed response to 9/11 and a disastrous war in Iraq. Blinded by virtue, emboldened by technological superiority, seized by a mimetic terror, the US blundered from one foreign fiasco to the next.
Taking the long view as well as getting up close to the war machine, Virtuous War provides a compelling alternative to the partisan politics, instant analysis and technical fixes that currently bedevil US national security policy.
Praise for 2nd Edition
'From Borges to Baudrillard and beyond, James Der Derian chronicles our ongoing obsession with war technology and our increasing disconnection with the reality of war. Eisenhower coined the phrase ‘the military-industrial complex.’ Der Derian has his own phrase, also powerful, thoughtful, and descriptive: ‘the military-industrial-media-entertainment network.’ A frightening thought, but also a central and illuminating thought for our times.' - Errol Morris, filmmaker
'There’s a marvellous unmasking here of the modern military-media-entertainment fantasy, a disease that pretends to be the cure… This is a book that brings theory and theorists to life, a book that horrifies and delights on virtually every page.' - Christopher Lydon, Open Source
'The expanded, brilliantly realized 2nd edition of Virtuous War makes indispensable reading. The world is catching up to Der Derian’s vision of where we are and what we must do about these lethal linkages of war, media, entertainment.' - Richard Falk, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Reviews of 1st edition:
'This eye-opening, entertaining and sobering study of the increasing 'virtualization' of American politics - and of war in particular - via media manipulation makes an important contribution to political, media and social studies…this fascinating and important material will make a splash in academic circles.' - Publishers Weekly
'The virtual wars that are being fought and planned are far from "virtuous," and the author is to be congratulated for bringing this simple reality to our attention.' - Political Affairs
'Der Derian is successful is mapping out this newly digitized world.' - New Political Science
'The first book to offer a "virtual theory" for the military strategies, philosophical questions, ethical issues, and political controversies surrounding the future of war and peace.' - TechDirections
'[Virtuous War] is an important book, and a relevant one, especially given the current administration's struggle to transform and finance a military suited to the 21st century.' - Proceedings
List of Photographs Preface to the new edition Prologue 1. The Tank and the Tortoise 2. Between Wars 3. Global Swarming and the Bosnia Question 4. The Simulation Triangle 5. The Virtual Enemy 6. Virtuous War Comes Home 7. Virtuous War Goes to Hollywood 8. Kosovo and the Virtuous Thereafter 9. A Virtual Theory for the Global Accident 10. After 9/11 11. The Age of InfoTerror 12. Virtuous War and the Desert of the Real Acknowledgments List of Acronyms Notes Index