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The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al Qæda 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Because terrorism is an evolving phenomenon, the back end of the book could use an update to encompass the late Al Qaeda period and the current threat that the world is confronting in ISIS. But even without this minor change, the authors have hit on certain commonalities of terrorism over time that one can look for as they are examining other groups that form over time.
A great historical resource on terrorism that doesn’t forget the present.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great starting point or anyone interested in research into terrorismPublished 14 months ago by katy
The book was well written. However, the research does not include the terrorism that Britain used against the Boer Republics in Anglo Boer War II. Read morePublished on June 3, 2011 by Elma ross
Good book bu if i would of know it was from Cal Berkley liberal capital i probably would of ordered another book instead.Published on June 14, 2010 by Jesse D. Crotts
"The History of Terrorism" written by Chaliand and Blin, is a very interesting book. From the beginning, we're faced with the difficult question of what constitutes terrorism. Read morePublished on February 11, 2009 by Robert W. Smith