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Blood and Rage: History of Terrorism
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Blood and Rage: History of Terrorism

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In this sweeping and deeply penetrating work, distinguished historian Michael Burleigh explores the nature of terrorism from its origins in the West to the current global threat fueled by fundamentalists. Burleigh takes us from the roots of terrorism in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Russian Nihilists, and the London-based anarchists of Black International to the va ...more
ebook, 608 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2008)
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I am reviewing this now because I don't think this book is ever going to get off the currently-reading shelf. In a time when terrorism is still a major issue, I was hoping to read a good overview into the history of terrorism. I picked up this book knowing nothing about the book (except the back blurb) or the author.

What a mistake! First, the author fails to define terrorism and suggests that the context and rationale of terrorists make no difference in doing so he denies the legitimate issues w
Dermot Nolan
Well, as a work of history it is lacking in some respects, namely objectivity and accuracy. Whilst there are some interesting topics covered this book reads as a rant rather than a serious work of history. There are other glaring ommissions like the suggestion that the sixteenth anniversary of Lockerbie was in 1994 and not 2004, whilst this might be a typo it signifies a lack of attention to detail that runs throughout this book.

As a work of culture is fairly bereft of cultural analysis. Instea
A potentially interesting subject, rendered useless by Bureleighs inability to imagine that there might ever be any reason why people are attracted to terrorism. His first chapter is about Fenian terrorists in England in the 19th Century, and some of the nasty things they got up to.

Nowhere is there any mention whatsoever of the massive, murderous and genocidal actions of the British on that Island for hundreds of years that gave rise to such actions. It renders the book's entire arguement meani
I can't, in good conscience, recommend this book as a cultural history of terrorism because, uh, it's not.

It is kind of a history of terrorism, not a really complete one, and isn't by any means comprehensive. It can be a good start, and what Burleigh focuses on, he goes into great detail. I haven't read anything else by this guy, but I found him to be a pretty frustrating read, largely because I like to think historians try to be unbiased, or at least want to pretend to be. I wasn't sure reading
Vikas Datta
A magisterial and incisive sweep through terrorism in all its manifestations across the epochs in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, chronicling its sordid details and perpetrators but in an extra-ordinarily well-written account that does not overwhelm you. Really shines towards the book's end, assesses the fault lines that lead to its genesis and makes some perceptive though trenchant observations how it can be countered. Some of the latter may - on a superficial level - may seem to be con ...more
Darran Anderson
This book comes with a recommendation on the cover from David Cameron. It fills me with silent creeping terror that someone who found this book to be anything other than wilfully-lunkheaded authoritarian drivel is now in charge of a nation. In presenting the State, particularly the colonial Anglo-Saxon variety, as the paragon of virtue and anyone in opposition as inherently evil, it reinforces a duplicitous Manichean world-view that would be laughable if it were not still perpetuating misery acr ...more
It's not often that I set aside a book before finishing it and unheard of to review an unfinished book but this is really one to be avoided. I really can't do it justice so I'll quote from a randomly selected page.

"The prosecutor was predictably inept, while the defense lawyers acted like activist demagogues, a recurrent pattern in the history of terrorism. The liberal-minded chief judge indulged the accused, allowing them to read newspapers and wave to the admiring audience. A squalid little g
After the first chapters - I have to say I´m still disappointed about the way the author treats the subject. Since he´s British the first chapter is about the IRA - but it doesn´t mention once the source of all the terrorist action. Just listing terrorist activities and state´s reprisals is not enough to call the result a cultural history. The whole approach seems rather biased. I have skipped to the chapter on the German RAF - and OK it´s just a few pages and it surely cannot encompass all the ...more
Andrea Pins
Disappointing read, as the title had so much potential. What little insight I gleaned from this book was in between falling asleep and feeling as if the author was ranting at me in the most condescending tone. For something dubbed a "cultural history" I found it to be lacking both cultural context and accurate historical reference. Boo!
E. Kahn
Couldn't get beyond the first couple chapters, gave up on it. This guy seems to think the major problem with Tsarist Russia was that it was too soft on liberals.
I only read chapter 8 which focused on Islamist terrorism as we know it today. I give this part of the book 4 stars. Burleigh does a good job connecting the dots from the historical roots of jihad to the political and religious dimensions from which it has been revitalized today, and the people and organizations involved in its application.
An enthralling and infuriating book in equal measure. Burleigh excels when he sticks to pure historical fact, but far too often he lets his right-wing axe-grinding get in the way. As it was, I felt that I may have enjoyed it more if I were a regular reader of the Daily Mail or Daily Telegraph.
Matthew White
The bloodthirsty and deranged, and the cold and calculating - they're all there. Sobering reading, but don't devour too much at once - there's thousands of appalling events described.
Didn't finish and don't want to. I'm going to give myself credit for reading it as this book was very small font and I got through 201 pages. Way to meticulous and drab of writing.
Interesting history of terrorism in the 20th and 21st centuries. Very detailed and somewhat dense, but filled with lots of information. Good analysis of the overall problem at the end.
a profound study that has changed my opinion on some deeply held prejudices - I recommend it but not for the feint hearted
Manuel Barrios
Interesante repaso para no expertos de la historia del terrorismo durante los siglos XIX y XX. Especialmente pobre, eso sí, el capítulo dedicado al País Vasco
False Millennium
I suppose I hoped for more. Disappointing...for me, i.e. maybe not for "you."
Polemical but well worth reading.
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Michael Burleigh is a British author and historian.
In 1977 Michael Burleigh took a first class honours degree in Medieval and Modern History at University College London, winning the Pollard, Dolley and Sir William Mayer prizes. After a PhD in medieval history in 1982, he went on to hold posts at New College, Oxford, the London School of Economics, and Cardiff where he was Distinguished Research P
More about Michael Burleigh...
The Third Reich: A New History Moral Combat: A History of World War II Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War Small Wars, Faraway Places: Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965

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