Perhaps it was its provocative title that made me want to grab this book when I saw it sitting there with the other newly arrived books at my public library. Or perhaps I was intrigued by the idea of reading something on the “War of Terror” written from a foreign perspective. Or maybe after reading a number of fictional works I was finally in the mood for a bit of nonfiction. Who knows. However, after reading Loretta Napoleoni’s Terrorism and the Economy: How the War on Terror is Bankrupting the World I can confidently tell you that while most of her recent book is quite fascinating, overall she never quite achieves her ultimate objective-making a convincing case that America’s War on Terror was chiefly responsible for the global economic collapse.
While Napoleoni does a fine job portraying the international economy as a fragile house of cards, especially as it shaped the destinies of the three desperate cities of London, Las Vegas and Dubai, her attempts to show how America’s Patriot Act and it attempts to restrict the international flow of US dollars initiated a cascade of factors which lead to the economic collapse and the resulting “credit crunch” falls just a bit short. In addition, while I have no beef with her leftist sentiments, her hints of a possible Bush Administration conspiracy leading to the 9-11 attacks casts a slight tarnish to her otherwise insightful analysis of America’s reckless economic and political undertakings. In short, don’t attribute to some grand conspiracy theory what you should really blame on incompetence and organizational hubris.
It looks like Napoleoni is the author of a host of books dealing with international economics and related subjects. In the future I hope to read a few of her fine books. Regrettably, this is not one of them.