The New Yorker: The Critics: Books: “Thus it is not really the masses?who would presumably love to be liberated by the United States?but the fundamentalist leaders who are enraged. So, of course, are some of the Christian fundamentalists waiting for Armageddon on our own television screens. In fact, the war on modernity, often associated with the Jews, or the West, or the United States, goes back centuries. German Romanticism, which later curdled into a murderous ideology, began as a reaction to the French Enlightenment, whose ideals were promoted with armed force by Napoleon?s Grande Arm?e. Nineteenth-century Slavophiles in Russia resisted the modern ideas of the Westernizers and extolled the Russian soul. German Fascists in the nineteen-thirties denounced ?Americanism.? Japanese chauvinists in the forties embraced the idea that Japan was fighting a holy war against the wicked West.”


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