[Marxism] Phil Hearse on Fred Halliday

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 10 15:31:42 MST 2007

Making Peace with America
Two Hours Which Shook the World, by Fred 
Halliday, Saqi books, London 2002,  £12.95.

reviewed by Phil Hearse

Author's note: This article was written before 
the Iraq war. That event confirms everything which is said in the article.

Subtitled ‘September 11, Causes and Consequences’ 
Fred Halliday’s book says little about the ‘two 
hours which shook the world’, but is in fact an 
assessment of the world political factors which 
gave rise to the attack, notably the questions of 
Islamic fundamentalism, globalisation and United States capitalism.

To remind non-British readers, Halliday – now 
Professor of International Relations at the 
London School of Economics - was until the end of 
the 1980s one of the foremost Marxist experts on 
the Middle East writing in English, and a 
long-time editor of New Left Review. His move 
away from the Left was signalled by his support 
for the US war on Iraq, and his subsequent book 
Rethinking International Relations in which he 
condemned attempts to seek a post-capitalist 
order, or indeed any attempt to rapidly improve the human condition.

His new book, despite some sensible and 
perceptive parts, eventually collapses into 
abject apology for capitalism in general and the 
United States in particular. In doing so, 
Halliday feels compelled to return time and again 
to criticising his former comrades on the Marxist 
left – in other words his own former self. In 
doing so, as we shall see, he seems to hold 
mutually contradictory views and be involved in 
an anguished debate with himself.

full: http://www.marxsite.com/making_peace_with_america.htm

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