"A unique work of. . . history, made all the more interesting by its relevance to the time in which we live."
--James R. Elkins, editor of Legal Studies Forum
In this timely study of the roots of terrorism, author Albert Borowitz deftly assesses the phenomenon of violent crime motivated by a craving for notoriety or self-glorification. He traces this particular brand of terrorism back to 356 BCE and the destruction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus by arsonist Herostratos and then examines similar crimes through history to the present time, detailing many examples of what the author calls the "Herostratos Syndrome," such as the attempted explosion of the Greenwich Observatory in 1894, the Taliban's destruction of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan, the assassination of John Lennon, the Unabomber strikes, and the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.
The study of terrorism requires interdisciplinary inquiry. Proving that terrorism cannot be the exclusive focus of a single field of scholarship, Borowitz presents this complex subject using sources based in religion, philosophy, history, Greek mythology, and world literature, including works of Chaucer, Cervantes, Mark Twain, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Terrorism for Self-Glorification, written in clear and direct prose, is original, thorough, and thought provoking. Scholars, specialists, and general readers will find their understanding of terrorism greatly enhanced by this book.
In Leaderless Jihad, Sageman rejects the views that place responsibility for terrorism on society or a flawed, predisposed individual. Instead, he argues, the individual, outside influence, and group dynamics come together in a four-step process through which Muslim youth become radicalized. First, traumatic events either experienced personally or learned about indirectly spark moral outrage. Individuals interpret this outrage through a specific ideology, more felt and understood than based on doctrine. Usually in a chat room or other Internet-based venues, adherents share this moral outrage, which resonates with the personal experiences of others. The outrage is acted on by a group, either online or offline.
Leaderless Jihad offers a ray of hope. Drawing on historical analogies, Sageman argues that the zeal of jihadism is self-terminating; eventually its followers will turn away from violence as a means of expressing their discontent. The book concludes with Sageman's recommendations for the application of his research to counterterrorism law enforcement efforts.
Using Martin Heidegger’s notion of space and Jean-Luc Nancy’s idea of community, Martin Coward outlines a theoretical understanding of the urban condition at stake in such violence. He contends that buildings are targeted because they make possible a plural public space that is contrary to the political aims of ethnic-nationalist regimes. Illustrated with reference to several post-Cold War conflicts – including Bosnia, Chechnya and Israel/Palestine – this book is the first comprehensive analysis of organised violence against urban environments. It offers an original perspective to those seeking to better understand urbanity, political violence and the politics of exclusion.
In the novel Death Play, the stock broker Tony Trask begins with stock strategy and ends with deadlier techniques.