In This Review

Civil Wars: From LA to Bosnia
Civil Wars: From LA to Bosnia
By Hans Magnus Enzensberger
New Press, 1994, 144 pp

The author of these glum pieces, a German writer and essayist, argues that since the end of the Cold War the nature of war has changed from purposive, ideologically driven enterprises undertaken by highly organized industrial powers to "molecular civil war," a kind of purposeless, anomic, self-immolating violence that has suddenly appeared everywhere from Afghanistan to Germany to the inner cities of the United States. Reflecting the deep gloom that has settled over most European writers and intellectuals, the book actually bears unintended good news in that molecular civil war is likely to remain much less destructive than organized violence of the old kind. Among the essays, "Europe in Ruins" and one on the current German debate on asylum and immigration are insightful and interesting.