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The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al Qæda Paperback – August 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0520247093 ISBN-10: 0520247094 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 483 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520247094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520247093
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gérard Chaliand is an independent scholar who has held visiting professorships at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard University. He is the author of more than thirty-five works including The Art of War in History and Guerilla Strategies (both UC Press). Arnaud Blin is senior fellow at the French Institute for Strategic Analysis. He is coauthor, with Gérard Chaliand, of the Dictionnaire de stratégie militaire and America is Bac: Les nouveaux césars du pentagone, and, with Françoise Géré, of Puissances et influences: annuaire géopolitic et géostatégique.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The book was well written.
Elma ross
I recommend this book to those interested in terrorism history and evolution, particularly as a primary reference.
Dr. Michael Toney
The book is divided into three sections.
D. S. Thurlow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris Wilson on July 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I like this text in that it sets historical and moral context for today's conflicts.
Chaliand and Blin, the editors, lay out the text in chapters on eras and specific conflicts. The text is notable in that it delves into the evolution of the moral debates concerning the targeting of civilians in times of warfare. Few today realize that much of today's terrorism evolved from the guerilla warfare in Occupied Europe of WWII, and the partisan civil conflicts that often followed after Nazi Germany was defeated. The editors draw these connections well, while maintaining a balanced academic-style approach. It is indeed difficult to discuss this field of study without taking sides or pontificating on the morality of "who is a legitimate target." Chailiand and Blin walk this line well.
-CLW
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Thurlow TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The History of Terorism" From Antiquity To Al Qaeda" offers a clear-eyed, unsentimental and comprehensive look at terrorism. The editors, Gerard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin, are also the major contributors to a series of well-written essays that trace the historical roots and the modern usage of terrorism.

The book is divided into three sections. The first deals with the prehistory of terrorism, especially by small, specialized groups such as the Zealots. The second section covers the period 1789 to 1968, as terrorism came into its own as a tool of radical political movements. The final section, slightly more than half the book, covers the recent uses of terrorism, especially by Islamic radicals including but not limited to al-Qaeda.

The text appears to have been translated from French, which may be the cause of slightly wooden prose in some of the entries. More importantly, this history is not US-centric, which may be a refreshing change for some students in this field. The approach is generally from the theoretical underpinnings of the politics and/or religious motivations of groups practicing terrorism, to the results of their efforts. "A History of Terrorism" is very highly recommended for its comprehensive and unsentimental look at the topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael Toney on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Chaliand and Blin present a body of work on terrorism history. The prehistory material (e.g., assassins, zealots, etc.) was especially interesting and a subject area that few other terrorism authors cover. I also found it interesting that these editors chose to organize terrorism in a linear fashion (prehistory, 1789 to 1968, and then terrorism after 1968). This is an additional unique characteristic of the book, which makes it simple to find information and draw conclusions as to how terrorism evolves over time. I recommend this book to those interested in terrorism history and evolution, particularly as a primary reference. For me this book serves as an authoritative source from which to draw from, some of which I reference in my book on Terrorist Organizational Behavior (ISBN-13: 978-0615687391). I hope that these editors publish the next edition of this book very soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book covers the history of terrorism in a concise, practical and though provoking way. It clearly articulates the future of modern terrorism and the prognosis of the future of radical violent terrorist action for regions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kindle edition of this product is great for class. This book reveals a lot of the history behind terrorism, and makes for an amusing read. From classical times to now explore what is terrorism, state and individual, and learn something about how we are at where we are today. History does tend to repeat itself. The author tends to be liberal, but with good reasons. Anyone curious about what is really going with regards to the war on terrorism should give this a once over.
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