All my life, writes Conor Cruise O'Brien, I have been fascinated and puzzled by nationalism and religion; by the interaction of the two forces, sometimes in unison, sometimes antagonistic. In these wide-ranging and penetrating essays, O'Brien examines how throughout the world today these age-old forces are once again threatening democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of expression -- particularly in the United States, the nation founded on Enlightenment values. He weaves together beautifully written discussions on these and other timely, related topics. Enlivening his grim predictions with dry wit, he nevertheless conveys an apocalyptic sense of the threats facing democracy as we approach the third millennium.
About the Author: Conor Cruise O'Brien is a distinguished statesman and writer. Over a long and varied career, he has served in the Irish external affairs office; was a member of the Irish delegation to the United Nations (at one point being seconded as a special assistant to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld); was elected an Irish Labour Party parliamentarian, later serving in the cabinet; and was appointed editor-in-chief of the London Observer. A contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, O'Brien lectures around the world at leading unversities and writes weekly columns for The Independent in Britain and The Irish Independent. His many books include States of Ireland and The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke.