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The Enemy with a Thousand Faces: The Tradition of the Other in Western Political Thought and History. By Vilho Harle. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000. 232p. $59.95.

  • David Boucher (a1)

This book is part of a much larger collaborative project devoted to “Otherness, Identity, and Politics.” It explores an aspect of identity theory, about which the author makes two uncontentious claims: first, that identity is socially and politically constituted and, second, that identity politics predate 1989. By delimiting a theme in Western political thought and history that constructs the “I” and the “thou” in terms of good and evil, the book identifies and delimits a tendency to portray the Other as an enemy, evil incarnate, and dehumanized by a combination of religious and political ideas. The tradition of understanding the Self and the Other as the vehicles of good and evil is reproduced in thought, speech, and action and constitutes a continuous tradition from ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism, through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
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