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The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Infernal Machine With extraordinary narrative sweep, investigative journalist Carr unearths the complex realities of terrorist violence and the stunning similarities in societies' responses to terrorism despite profound political and cultural differences. Full description
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by New Press, The (first published 2007)
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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
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
Apr 03, 2007 david-baptiste rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
This book was interesting, well-written but ultimately disappointing. The author sets out to confront the reality and the discourse/representation of terrorism. It's a good idea, and for the first two thirds it works very well. Discourse from books, films and news is analysed and unpicked, and for the most part it is very interesting and readable.
The problem arises in the last third of the book, when the author starts dealing with more recent events. All pretence of analysis is dropped, and the
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
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 09, 2007 Johnny rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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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Edd Yerburgh
Surprisingly readable, comprehensive and informative.
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