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Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill Paperback – August 17, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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More About the Author
She has authored TERROR IN THE NAME OF GOD: Why Religious Militants Kill, selected by the New York Times as a notable book of the year; THE ULTIMATE TERRORISTS; and numerous articles on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. She served on President Clinton's National Security Council Staff in 1994-95 (read a May 1995 letter and July 1995 letter from the President and this note from the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs expressing their gratitude for her work and contribution).
Jessica was included in Time magazine's series profiling 100 people with bold ideas. The film, "The Peacemaker", with Nicole Kidman and George Clooney, was based on a fictional version of Jessica's work at the National Security Council. Her new book, DENIAL: A Memoir of Terror, is now available, published by Ecco, a HarperCollins imprint. She lives in Cambridge, MA.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is fantastic. I could not put it down. Unlike most books of this sort which by necessity rely primarily on anecdotal evidence, this is serious work. It is closer to hard science in its procedure than most of the rabble rousing goobly gook masquerading as serious books on terrorism.
Prof. Stern is not trying to morally equate anything. She simply tries to expose some terrorist core motivations which are decidedly different from those of a soldier. Traditional phase-line thinking will not win thin war on terrorism. We need more thinkers of Stern's ilk to raise the level of the discourse.
Stern analyzes the different types of reasons for terrorism (humiliation, alienation, demographics, territory, and history) and explains both on the psychological and sociological level how they operate. She also explains how the different methods of terrorism operate to bring about the psychological trance/bliss state, how terrorists become as well as their logistical operations. She describes charismatic leaders, commanders and cadres, lone wolves, and freelance franchises as forms of organization and the sometimes mixed motives of their members. She discusses terrorist organizations' relationships with states, weapons acquistion and type, recruit training, and techniques to enhance commitment.
The book covers much the same territory that Mark Juergensmeyer's "Terror in the Mind of God" covers. He does it more elegantly, with more depth, and with many of the same insights and conclusions, but Stern provides more information on the nature of organizations and a better categorization of motives. This is the broader book.
If you have strong ideological beliefs or interests in parties involved with or affected by terrorism, you probably won't like the book. Christian terrorism and Jewish terrorism exist, albeit on a vastly lower level than Islamic terrorism at the moment, but the forces behind all kinds of terrorism have much in common, as this book points out. If we can't get past emotional reactions and judgments to understand why and how these terrible and tragic events occur, then we only contribute to their perpetuation, not their alleviation.
Sparing a lot of details and personalities, you can discover them for yourself, it is enough to say that Stern has traveled the globe to conduct her interviews and compile her research. From American Fundamentalists with their addiction to targeting abortion clinics for destruction; to Hamas; Indonesians, Pakistanis et al committed to their respective jihads, the author gives a comprehensive, and often eye opening glimpse at the inside operations of a vast cross section of groups.
In establishing a common thread of psychological and economic profiles of the recruits for various terrorist groups, Stern provides useful insight for those wishing to comprehend some of the most menacing ideologues in our modern world. The story is all the more remarkable as Stern is an American professor, female, and Jewish; yet she manages, occasionally at potential risk to her safety, to penetrate conservative Muslim strongholds to obtain her information.
This is scholarly, but still well organized and readable, and I highly recommend it as a first stop for anyone seeking to get a good handle on this important issue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fundamentalism seems to be on the rise in the world. Stern circles the globes to talk to men who have committed violence in the name of religion. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Townsend
A timely read in this day of ISIS and the slaying of 9 black church members
at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston SC by a lone wolf
Jessica Stern is an excellent writer and incredibly well informed on the subjects of her writing. I have read all of her books and Terror in the Name of God maintains her high... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Manjushri
This book is brilliant ,well researched and a must read for politicians, soldiers. theologians and academicians anyone who loves peace and their fellow human beings.Published 11 months ago by AMA
The book was everything it was advertised to be. I'm very satisfied with my purchase.Published 11 months ago by marty
This was assigned for a Terrorism class. I'm still reading, but for the most part the material is rather interesting and doesn't read like a textbook. Read morePublished 16 months ago by listenhere