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The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A dramatic reframing of our troubled present against a century full of striking historical parallels.

In 1881, a small group of Russian revolutionaries calling themselves "terrorists" assassinated Tsar Alexander II in a spectacular bombing attack in St. Petersburg. Far from being psychopathic murderers, these men and women viewed their actions as a just response to tyranny.
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by New Press, The (first published 2007)
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Oct 27, 2012 Kraychik rated it did not like it
Amateur hour analysis. This book is only worthwhile for the uninitiated. If you have a basic familiarity with the terrorism of the IRA, the FLN and its affiliates, and the terrorism of the Jewish-Arab/Muslim conflict, you will learn little to nothing from this book. Worse still is the analysis: the author suggests that in order to reduce or stop terrorism, we must understand it. In other words: contemporary terrorism is rooted in legitimate grievances held by the terrorists themselves that much ...more
Feb 20, 2011 Amélie rated it really liked it
Je sais pas pourquoi, mais je suis fascinée par ces gens qui pensent que l'expression la plus vraie, la plus authentique de l'engagement politique passe par l'action armée. J'ai pas d'estomac pour la violence & je ferais une freedom fighter particulièrement récalcitrante, mais c'est un monde qui m'intrigue. D'où la lecture de ce livre.

L'auteur est impressionnant de par sa capacité à naviguer au coeur de son sujet sans jamais tomber dans un anti-terrorisme primaire ou, au contraire, dans l'ap
Apr 03, 2007 david-baptiste rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes very much
Infernal Machine The History of Terrorism is an excellent history of terrorism begining with the Russian Nihilist assasination of Czar and continuing to the present, presenting the changes in methods and motives through a great many countries and situations. It's very well written and aslo makes the connections with the great novels associated with terrorism's early days--Dostoyevsky's The Possesed for example--Henry James' The Princess Cassamassima, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, Under Weste ...more
May 30, 2012 Enzo rated it really liked it
Carr does an amazing job tracing terrorism back in time and allowing its reader to take different points of view of wars/acts of terror that we had previously only seen from the winners of these conflicts. He also allows the reader to view the roots of why terrorism occurs and further pushes the famed quote, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".
Although mingled in this historically accurate book is Carr's own opinions, which I can't say I agree with all the time, he does a god
Apr 18, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing
A fascinating, thorough and critical look at the history of terrorism. Carr gives us a well-written and fast-paced tour of the evolution of different acts of political violence, from early dynamite attacks in Russia to guerilla warfare in South America, finally culminating in a look at the events of September 11.

Despite its heavy subject matter and the density of information, Carr does not lose sight of the broader framework of terrorist acts and our governments' reactions to them. He delves in
May 08, 2007 Johnny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history buffs
A history of terrorism, and what works and what doesn't work to combat it. What is a police problem usually turns into a full fledged military campaign, in more reactionary societies.

Another fact-that western intelligence agaencies usually stir the pot - creating blowback - then their plots come home to roost.

That left wing terroroism is countered by the right, often by manufactured acts of terror, to further divide, confuse, and terrorize the public.

And lastly, that when we give all our safe
Travis Todd
Jul 30, 2013 Travis Todd rated it really liked it
You won't have any trouble guessing which side of the fence Matthew Carr is on. He doesn't excuse the often atrocious things "terrorists" do out of desperation, but he does seek to understand the motives and reasoning behind these actions, instead of believing a fantasy of purely evil actors motivated by a hatred of freedom itself, a ridiculous slander. No one would condemn an undersized kid on a playground who finally fought back against a larger and stronger bully. That's who you root for at t ...more
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Apr 11, 2014 Edd Yerburgh rated it really liked it
Surprisingly readable, comprehensive and informative.
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