Jessica Stern

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My War Criminal:

Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide

By Jessica Stern

 

Out Now!

 

 

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Check out The Lawfare Podcast’s Bonus Episode #510, Jessica Stern on Radovan Karadzic

Check out this letter to the editor of the Washington Post about “My War Criminal: Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide” written by former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Jonathan McLaughlin

 

Book Reviews:

 “Jessica Stern draws a chilling portrait of Radovan Karadžić, giving us an eye-opening new context not only for the Bosnian War, but also of how fear can be harnessed and diverted to violent political ends.” – U.S. Senator Chris Coons

“Timely and compelling.”  Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (2005-2009)

“This book is a remarkable blend of biography, history, and psychiatry– only Jessica Stern could have written it.” – Howard Gardner, Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard University

Complex emotions are unleashed on both sides as the interviewer circles a wily subject skilled at charm, obfuscation, misdirection, and intimidation — and Dr. Stern lays all of this out with extraordinary candor. Must reading for anyone interested in how a narcissistic leader can merge popular grievances and history to produce  human tragedy on a massive scale.” – John McLaughlin, Former Acting Director, CIA

“This eloquent and revelatory book provides essential insight not just into the Balkan wars, but into the mechanisms of genocide and ethnic hatred all over the world. (Jan.)” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Ultimately, Stern draws chilling parallels between the war criminal and President Trump, including similarities in their tactics of fear-mongering and ethnocentrism, and asks us to question our own moral dexterity and susceptibility to such ethical collapses.” Booklist

“For a two-year period between October 2014 and November 2016 Karadzic was visited by terrorism expert Jessica Stern, who sought, as we must, to understand the psychology of genocide: its motivations, its acts, its perennial surfacing among so-called civilized society. What followed was a series of interviews that form the backbone of this chilling account of how quickly societal order can collapse, particularly when given just the right push from intelligent, charismatic men.”  –  Lit Hub

“A subtle, powerful illustration of terror that resonates today, especially regarding the resurgent white supremacist movement. […] An utterly compelling chronicle form a master scholar and clear writer.” – Kirkus Starred Review


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About Jessica Stern

Jessica Stern is a Research Professor at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies.  Stern has taught courses on counter-terrorism for 20 years – at Boston University, Harvard, and CIA University. She is a Member of the Homeland Security Experts Group, a Fellow at both Hoover Institution and Harvard’s School of Public Health, and a non-resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.  She has participated in several DHS, NATO, and DOD-funded countering-violent extremism projects at Children’s Hospital and the Chan School of Public Health at Harvard. Stern is the coauthor with J.M. Berger of ISIS: The State of Terror, and the author of My War Criminal: Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide (forthcoming January 2020), DENIAL: A Memoir of Terror, TERROR IN THE NAME OF GOD: Why Religious Militants Kill.  Stern served on President Clinton’s National Security Council Staff in 1994-95.  She was included among seven “thinkers” in Time Magazine’s 2001 series profiling 100 innovators.  She was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow in 2009, a World Economic Forum Fellow from 2002-2004, an International Affairs Fellow in 1994, and elected to Sigma Xi, an engineering honors society, in 1986.  Stern advises a number of government agencies on issues related to terrorism. She has a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in chemistry, a master’s degree from MIT in technology policy, and a doctorate from Harvard University in public policy.  She is a 2016 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis.

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