How to Look Good in a War: Justifying and Challenging State Violence (Paperback)
How to Look Good in A War examines the methods used to depict, defend and justify the use of state violence. Many books have shown how 'truth is the first casualty of war' but this is the first to analyse exactly how pro-war narratives are constructed and normalised.
Brian Rappert details the 'upside-down' world of war in which revelation conceals, knowledge fosters uncertainty, and transparency obscures. He looks at government spin during recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya where officials manoeuvre between circulating and withholding information.
Examining how organised violence is justified, How to Look Good in A War draws on experiences from recent controversy to consider how ignorance about the operation of war is produced and how concerned individuals and groups can intervene to make a difference.
Brian Rappert is Professor of Science, Technology and Public Affairs in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter.
"How to Look Good in A War is a sophisticated exploration of how understandings of war and weapons are produced by the movements between disclosure and concealment in official discourse. An important and very readable addition to the literature on contemporary Western war-making." – Martin Shaw, Research Professor, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals and University of Sussex, and Professorial Fellow in International Relations and Human Rights, University of Roehampton, London. Author of The New Western Way of War