The Unknown Terrorist:
by Richard Flanagan
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Among the aftereffects of 9/11 has been the institutionalization of a new and radically different kind of fear, far more encompassing in its reach than the old fears (of drugs, gangs, black parolees, feminists) cynically evoked by politicians and the media. In its fluent persuasiveness—you have to accept at least the possibility of another attack—fear of terrorism puts otherwise quite rational people at odds with their long-held convictions and better judgment, and it justifies the distrust and hatred of foreigners and immigration, unfamiliar religious beliefs, due process, and, generally, liberalism.
These discarded convictions and embraced fears shape Richard Flanagan's fourth novel, The Unknown Terrorist, in which an Australian public that is by turns smug, debauched, corrupt, and "dizzy with the familiar
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