Christopher Coker

Alibis of Aggression

The War of the World: History’s Age of Hatred


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In Steven Spielberg’s film War of the Worlds there is a scene which is often missed by audiences, but it captures the fragmentation of the Western world (and with it the decline of Western influence) which is a major theme of Niall Ferguson’s book. Rushing back to his home in Brooklyn, Tom Cruise bundles his children into his car. The Martian tripods can be seen zapping everything in their wake. In Wells’s novel, the frightened priest asks: ‘Why are these things permitted? … What are these Martians?’ Cruise’s son asks his father the same question. ‘What are they, dad? Terrorists?’ ‘No son, far worse.’ ‘You mean they are from Europe?’

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