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Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind Paperback – September 18, 1998
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Pursue[s] the pathology of terrorism through the centuries... A fascinating amount of information.(Washington Post)
A disquieting but fascinating book... Strongly recommended.(British Journal of Psychiatry)
An honest and penetrating effort to explain the role of human psychology in terrorism.(Canadian Journal of Political Science)
These essays contain an excellent blend of theory with specific facts and narrative accounts of dealing with terrorism. I don't know of another book which has the sweep of this one, the illustrative detail, and the welcome, refreshing recognition that there is no neat explanation for terrorism. This book will have a major impact on future research.(David F. Musto, Yale School of Medicine)
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Top Customer Reviews
The two primary articles in the book by Martha Crenshaw and Jerrold Post present two opposing views of the logic that lies behind political violent activity ("terrorists" activity). The case studies in the rest of the book support these two primary articles.
Any researcher in the field of political violence studies must have this book in their library.
The parts dealing with the psychology of terror are quite relevant - how do terrorists justify to themselves what they do and how can engaging in terrorist acts alter the views of those who commit them? How do the defenders of terrorism in the name of religion get around prohibitions on suicide? If ever there were a vivid description of rationalization, you'll find it in the account of the views of a Lebanese cleric that adapt to the level of enthusiasm of the public, the judgments of peers and the effectiveness of terror. Success can do much to muffle opposition just as in conventional warfare techniques that were formerly abhorred can find favor if they prove useful. Who would have thought the President of the United States would scarcely hide his approval of torture (while denying it, of course).
You'll find a good historical summary of the Weathermen in the United States, the Bader/Meinhof Gang in Germany and the IRA in Northern Ireland providing evidence of how terror acts on the population in general as well as those who plan and carry out the acts. Did terror do what it is hoped that it would do?
The book is not a difficult read but it is not a casual read either. You'll need to concentrate to follow the points of the several authors and keep their ideas in mind as you move from one to the next. If you do, you'll find broad coverage that approaches the subject from many angles and reaches back in time to the first century AD.
I'm keeping my copy as a good reference on the subject.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Horrible book that was required for class. Only opened it once.Published 3 months ago by Logan Rollo
Great price for a brand new book that was going for $40 used through the school bookstore.Published on January 12, 2008 by Louis M. Langford
This book attempts to account for the root causes of terrorism. However it fails to provide a meticulous analysis of the origins of terrorism. Read morePublished on August 18, 2003 by Srebrenica Forever