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'Writing the war on terrorism' examines the public language of the war on terrorism, and the way that rhetoric has been used to justify the global counter-terrorism offensive as a response to 9/11. It discusses how language has been used to deliberately manipulate public anxiety about terrorist threats to gain support for military action, and how the abuse of Iraqi prisoners has been normalised through rhetoric and practice. . It explains how the war on terrorism has been reproduced and amplified by key social actors and how it has become the dominant political narrative in America today, enjoying widespread bipartisan and popular support. The author argues that the normalisation and institutionalisation of the administration's current counter-terrorism approach is damaging to society's ethical values and to democratic political participation. Lying at the intersection of international relations, American politics, terrorism studies, discourse analysis, communication studies and cultural studies, this book will have genuine interdisciplinary appeal.