There is no question that tensions between Russia and American are on the rise. The forced annexation of Crimea, the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, and the Russian government's treatment of homosexuals have created diplomatic standoffs and led to a volley of economic sanctions. Much of the blame for Russia's recent hostility towards the West has fallen on steely-eyed President Vladimir Putin and Americans have begun to wonder if they are witnessing the rebirth of Cold War-style dictatorship.

Not so fast, argues veteran historian Walter Laqueur.
For two decades, Laqueur has been ahead of the curve, predicting events in post-Soviet Russia with uncanny accuracy. In Putinism, he deftly demonstrates how three long-standing pillars of Russian ideology: a strong belief in the Orthodox Church, a sense of Eurasian "manifest destiny" and a fear of foreign enemies, continue to exert a powerful influence on the Russian populous. In fact, today's Russians have more in common with their counterparts from 1904 than 1954 and Putin is much more a servant of his people than we might think.
Topical and provocative, Putinism contains much more than historical analysis. Looking to the future, Laqueur explains how America's tendency to see Russia as a Cold War relic is dangerous and premature. As the situation in Ukraine has already demonstrated, Russia can and will challenge the West and it is in our best interest to figure out exactly who it is we are facing—and what they want—before it is too late.

Assassinations, bombings, hijackings, diplomatic kidnappings-terrorism is the most publicized form of political violence. The history of terrorism goes back a very long time, but the very fact that there is such a history has frequently been ignored, even suppressed. This may be because terrorism has not appeared with equal intensity at all times. When terrorism reappeared in the late twentieth century after a period of relative calm, there was the tendency to regard it as a new phenomenon, without precedent. The psychological study of terrorism has never been much in fashion. But this neglect has left a number of crucial questions unanswered. Among these are why some people who share the same convictions turn to terrorism and others do not. What is terrorism's true impact on international politics? What influence might it exert in the future? A History of Terrorism completes Walter Laqueur's pioneering and authoritative study of guerrilla warfare and terrorist activity. He charts the history of political terror from nineteenth-century Europe, through the anarchists of the 1880s and 1890s, the left- and right-wing clashes during the twentieth century, and the multinational operations of Arab and other groups today. Laqueur examines the sociology of terrorism: funding, intelligence gathering, weapons and tactics, informers and countermeasures, and the crucial role of the media. He probes the "terrorist personality" and how terrorists have been depicted in literature and films. The doctrine of systematic terrorism and current interpretations of terrorism, its common patterns, motives, and aims, are unflinchingly faced and clearly explicated. Finally, Laqueur considers the effectiveness of terrorism and examines the ominous possibility of nuclear blackmail. Challenging accepted assumptions, forecasting the changes in terrorist activity that will affect tomorrow's headlines, Walter Laqueur demystifies terrorism without belittling its importance. Together with its companion volume, Guerrilla Warfare, also available from Transaction, A History of Terrorism is an essential tool for assessing and understanding this all-too-often sensationalized modern expression of extreme political action.
For thirty years the director of the Wiener Library in London--the leading institute for the study of anti-Semitism--Walter Laqueur here offers both a comprehensive history of anti-Semitism as well as an illuminating look at the newest wave of this phenomenon. Laqueur begins with an invaluable historical account of this pernicious problem, tracing the evolution from a predominantly religious anti-Semitism--stretching back to the middle ages--to a racial anti-Semitism that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author then uses this historical account as backdrop to a brilliant analysis of the newest species of anti-Semitism, explaining its origins and rationale, how it manifests itself, in what ways and why it is different from anti-Semitism in past ages, and what forms it may take in the future. The book reveals that what was historically a preoccupation of Christian and right-wing movements has become in our time even more frequent among Muslims and left-wing groups. Moreover, Laqueur argues that we can't simply equate this new anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and write it off as merely anti-Israel sentiments. If Israel alone is singled out for heated condemnation, is the root of this reaction simply anti-Zionism or is it anti-Semitism? Here is both a summing up of the entire trajectory of anti-Semitism--the first comprehensive history of its kind--and an exploration of the new wave of anti-Semitism. "Walter Laqueur provides us with powerful new insights into an age-old problem. Distinguished scholarship and an authoritative moral voice are the hallmarks of this important book. Anyone wanting to understand the history and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred should read it." --Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League
Mussolini's march on Rome; Hitler's speeches before waves of goose-stepping storm troopers; the horrors of the Holocaust; burning crosses and neo-Nazi skinhead hooligans. Few words are as evocative, and even fewer ideologies as pernicious, as fascism. And yet, the world continues to witness the success of political parties in countries such as Italy, France, Austria, Russia, and elsewhere resembling in various ways historical fascism. Why, despite its past, are people still attracted to fascism? Will it ever again be a major political force in the world? Where in the world is it most likely to erupt next? In Fascism: Past, Present, and Future, renowned historian Walter Laqueur illuminates the fascist phenomenon, from the emergence of Hitler and Mussolini, to Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his cohorts, to fascism's not so distant future. Laqueur describes how fascism's early achievements--the rise of Germany and Italy as leading powers in Europe, a reputation for being concerned about the fate of common people, the creation of more leisure for workers--won many converts. But what successes early fascist parties can claim, Laqueur points out, are certainly overwhelmed by its disasters: Hitler may have built the Autobahnen, but he also launched the war that destroyed them. Nevertheless, despite the Axis defeat, fascism was not forgotten: Laqueur tellingly uncovers contemporary adaptations of fascist tactics and strategies in the French ultra-nationalist Le Pen, the rise of skinheads and right-wing extremism, and Holocaust denial. He shows how single issues--such as immigrants and, more remarkably, the environment--have proven fruitful rallying points for neo-fascist protest movements. But he also reveals that European fascism has failed to attract broad and sustained support. Indeed, while skinhead bands like the "Klansman" and magazines such as "Zyklon B" grab headlines, fascism bereft of military force and war is at most fascism on the defense, promising to save Europe from an invasion of foreigners without offering a concrete future. Laqueur warns, however, that an increase in "clerical" fascism--such as the confluence of fascism and radical, Islamic fundamentalism--may come to dominate in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. The reason has little to do with religion: "Underneath the 'Holy Rage' is frustration and old-fashioned class struggle." Fascism was always a movement of protest and discontent, and there is in the contemporary world a great reservoir of protest. Among the likely candidates, Laqueur singles out certain parts of Eastern Europe and the Third World. In carefully plotting fascism's past, present, and future, Walter Laqueur offers a riveting, if sometimes disturbing, account of one of the twentieth century's most baneful political ideas, in a book that is both a masterly survey of the roots, the ideas, and the practices of fascism and an assessment of its prospects in the contemporary world.
• In Brussels in 2004, more than 55 percent of the children born were of immigrant parents
• Half of all female scientists in Germany are childless
• According to a poll in 2005, more than 40 percent of British Muslims said Jews were a legitimate target for terrorist attacks

What happens when a falling birthrate collides with uncontrolled immigration? The Last Days of Europe explores how a massive influx from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East has loaded Europe with a burgeoning population of immigrants, many of whom have no wish to be integrated into European societies but make full use of the host nations' generous free social services.
One of the master historians of twentieth-century Europe, Walter Laqueur is renowned for his "gold standard" studies of fascism, terrorism, and anti-Semitism. Here he describes how unplanned immigration policies and indifference coinciding with internal political and social crises have led to a continent-wide identity crisis. "Self-ghettoization" by immigrant groups has caused serious social and political divisions and intense resentment and xenophobia among native Europeans. Worse, widespread educational failure resulting in massive youth unemployment and religious or ideological disdain for the host country have bred extremist violence, as seen in the London and Madrid bombings and the Paris riots. Laqueur urges European policy makers to maintain strict controls with regard to the abuse of democratic freedoms by preachers of hate and to promote education, productive work, and integration among the new immigrants.
Written with deep concern and cool analysis by a European-born historian with a gift for explaining complex subjects, this lucid, unflinching analysis will be a must-read for anyone interested in international politics and the so-called clash of civilizations.

Recent attacks in Oklahoma City, at the World Trade Towers, and at American embassies in Africa demonstrate the horrifying consequences of a terrorist strike. But as technological advances make weapons of mass destruction frighteningly easy to acquire, a revolution is occurring in the very nature of terrorism--one that may make these attacks look like child's play. In The New Terrorism Walter Laqueur, one of the foremost experts on terrorism and international strategic affairs, recounts the history of terrorism and, more importantly, examines the future of terrorist activity worldwide. Laqueur traces the chilling trend away from terrorism perpetrated by groups of oppressed nationalists and radicals seeking political change to small clusters of fanatics bent on vengeance and simple destruction. Coinciding with this trend is the alarming availability of weapons of mass destruction. Chemical and biological weapons are cheap and relatively easy to make or buy. Even nuclear devices are increasingly feasible options for terrorists. And with the information age, cyber terrorism is just around the corner. Laqueur argues that as a new quasi-religious extreme right rises, with more personal and less ideological motivations than their left-wing counterparts, it is only a matter of time before the attainability of weapons of mass destruction creates a terrifying and unstable scenario. From militant separatism in Kashmir to state-sponsored extremism in Libya and ecoterrorism in the West, The New Terrorism offers a thorough account of terrorism in all its past and current manifestations. Most importantly, it casts a sober eye to the future, when the inevitable marriage of technology and fanaticism will give us all something new to think about.
"This new collection by Walter Laqueur, one of the most distinguished historians and political commentators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, vividly brings to life his perspective on fifty years of political life. The essays in this volume deal with events ranging from more than seventy years ago to some that have not yet happened, but may in years to come. Laqueur divides his writings into five main areas: optimism in politics, the topic that unites this volume; Europe; the Arab Spring; Israel and Jewish affairs; and recollections of the past.This volume addresses an increasingly important question: How much optimism do we need in politics? Some neuroscientists believe that many of our assessments rest on an excess of optimism amounting to a dangerous bias. Another school of cognitive scientists sees the main danger in being influenced too much by negative conclusions. Although these competing perspectives have been only rarely investigated, Laqueur argues that such psychological factors play a decisive role in the assessment of political trends, and they should.Laqueur also reminds readers that there is a connection between writing history and commenting on current affairs, but it is not remotely as close and simple as often thought. The idea that the historian is somehow better qualified than others to interpret the present, let alone predict the future, is certainly not borne out by the evidence. Some great historians have been good and reliable political commentators, others have been miserable failures. Laqueur definitely falls in the former camp, as these reflections attest."
This is a selection of essays written during the first decade of the twenty-first century, by a figure widely acknowledged as the conscience of European liberalism. In Walter Laqueur’s lifetime, there have been more acutely dangerous situations, such as the coming of a world war or the seemingly unstoppable march to victory of totalitarian regimes, than in any other previous epoch. Such immediate dangers may not exist at the present time. But long-term trends are equally or even more threatening, as we now see in the ability of small groups of people, unprecedented in history, to inflict enormous damage. This is the underlying essence of Laqueur’s thinking, as expressed in this new volume. As Laqueur observes, one learns from long experience that the worst does not always happen, and if it does, probably not in one’s lifetime. Ideas and intellectual fashions emerging from the groves of academe, particularly in America can seem wrongheaded and often out of touch with the real world. This growing isolation causes growing bitterness, alienation, and a feeling of impotence on the part of intellectuals, which turns into greater radicalization and farfetched thinking. Laqueur fortunately does not fall into this trap. The articles and essays selected for this volume deal with a variety of topics. They do not entirely reflect Laqueur’s interests, which during this period were more in the cultural field than in politics. However, politics intrude irrespective of the author’s predilections. Laqueur deals with unpleasant truths in concrete geopolitical settings, but poignantly takes his stand with the men and women who strive to overcome self-censorship in the search for accurate judgment.
As the author makes clear, every book has a history; Guerrilla Warfare is no exception. Together with its sequel Terrorism (and two companion readers) it was part of a wider study: to give a critical interpretation of guerrilla and terrorism theory and practice throughout history. It did not aim at providing a general theory of political violence, nor did it give instructions on how to conduct guerrilla warfare and terrorist operations. Its aim remains to bring about greater semantic and analytic clarity, and to do so at psychological as well as political levels.While the word guerrilla has been very popular, much less attention has been given to guerrilla warfare than to terrorism - even though the former has been politically more successful. The reasons for the lack of detailed attention are obvious: guerrilla operations take place far from big cities, in the countryside, in remote regions of a nation. In such areas there are no film cameras or recorders.In his probing new introduction, Laqueur points out that a review of strategies and the fate of guerrilla movements during the last two decades show certain common features. Both mainly concerned nationalists fighting for independence either against foreign occupants or against other ethnic groups within their own country. But despite the many attempts, only in two placesAfghanistan and Chechnya were the guerrillas successful.According to Laqueur historical experience demonstrates that guerrilla movements have prevailed over incumbents only in specific conditions. Due to a constellation of factors, ranging from modern means of observation to increase in firepower. The author suggests that we may witness a combination of political warfare, propaganda, guerrilla operations and terrorism. In such cases, this could be a potent strategy for unsponsored revolutionary change. But either as social history or military strategy this work remains a crucial work of our times.
Walter Laqueur as been hailed as "one of our most distinguished scholars of modern European history" in the New York Times Book Review. Robert Byrnes, writing in the Journal of Modern History, called him "one of the most remarkable men in the Western world working in the field." Over a span of three decades, in books ranging from Russia and Germany to the recent Black Hundred, he has won a reputation as a major writer and a provocative thinker. Now he turns his attention to the greatest enigma of our time: the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. In The Dream that Failed, Laqueur offers an authoritative assessment of the Soviet era--from the triumph of Lenin to the fall of Gorbachev. In the last three years, decades of conventional wisdom about the U.S.S.R. have been swept away, while a flood of evidence from Russian archives demands new thinking about old assumptions. Laqueur rises to the challenge with a critical inquiry conducted on a grand scale. He shows why the Bolsheviks won the struggle for power in 1917; how they captured the commitment of a young generation of Russians; why the idealism faded as Soviet power grew; how the system ultimately collapsed; and why Western experts have been so wrong about the Communist state. Always thoughtful and incisive, Laqueur reflects on the early enthusiasm of foreign observers and Bolshevik revolutionaries--then takes a piercing look at the totalitarian nature of the Soviet Union. We see how Communist society stagnated during the 1960s and '70s, as the economy wobbled to the brink; we also see how Western observers, from academic experts to CIA analysts, made wildly optimistic estimates of Moscow's economic and political strength. Just weeks before the U.S.S.R. disappeared from the earth, scholars were confidently predicting the survival of the Soviet Union. But in underscoring the rot and repression, he also notes that the Communist state did not necessarily have to fall when it did, and he examines the many factors behind the collapse (the pressure from Reagan's Star Wars arms program, for instance, and ethnic nationalism). Some of these same problems, he finds, continue to shape the future of Russia and the other successor states. Only now, in the rubble of this lost empire, are we coming to grips with just how wrong our assumptions about the U.S.S.R. had been. In The Dream That Failed, an internationally renowned historian provides a new understanding of the Soviet experience, from the rise of Communism to its sudden fall. The result of years of research and reflection, it sheds fresh light on a central episode in our turbulent century.
In this, the third volume of collected essays by one of the most eminent students of East and West Europe, Walter Laqueur reveals a particularly deft touch at weaving the cultural and the political into a seamless whole. His familiarity with Soviet life and the Russian language gives him a unique insider's position in examining the Soviet Union and its remarkable changes in the decade of the 1980s.

In chapters on glasnost and its limits to the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the reader is given a careful perspective on continuities as well as discontinuities in Soviet politics. And in studies of Nikolai Skoblin, Julian Semynov-with whom his western counterpart, John Le Carre is compared in a fine coupling-we are given a sense of the darker side of things Soviet.

Soviet Realities reveals Laqueur's appreciation of the painful dialectic inherent in the grand sweet of Soviet life: underneath the faade of an imposed monolith are the continuing struggles between Left and Right, reformers and renegades, terrorists and legalists. And in his opening chapter, the author links these disparate strands together in a modest and self-critical appraisal. This is a volume deserving of an audience far beyond "Kremlinologists" or specialists in foreign affairs. In its sense of the Soviet whole, it will be of interest to all citizens concerned with the present and future of Soviet-American relations.

Walter Laqueur is chairman of the International Research Council of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and also co-director of the Wiener Library of Contemporary History in London. He is the author of almost twenty books and ten times that number of serious articles. They cover major themes of our times: terrorism, political movements, ideological trends, and cultural forms. He is, in short, a unique figure.

In this fascinating audiobook, an expert on terrorism and an expert on counterterrorism answer the two questions everyone is asking about the rise of terrorism today: why is this happening, and when will it end?

Since the death of bin Laden in 2011, ISIS has risen, al-Qaeda has expanded its reach, and right-wing extremists have surged in the United States for the same simple reason: terrorism works. It’s not caused by psychosis or irrationality, as the media often suggests. Instead, it’s terrifyingly logical. Violent acts produce political results.

To show why, Walter Laqueur and Christopher Wall explore the history, rationales and precepts of terrorism, from the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, through the terror campaigns by Irish and Indian nationalists, and to the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

To explain why terror is on the rise again, they show how the American invasion of Iraq created the conditions for the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, part of which metastasized into ISIS, while Russia’s increasing intervention in Syria allowed both of the organizations to evolve.

The Future of Terrorism brings reason to a topic usually ruled by fear. Laqueur and Wall show the structural features behind contemporary terrorism: how bad governance abets terror; the link between poverty and terrorism; why religious terrorism is more dangerous than secular; and the nature of supposed “lone wolf” terrorists.

Fear alone provides no tools to combat the future of terrorism. This audiobook does.

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