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Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind
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Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Terrorists and terrorism have become a major force internationally. Hostage-taking and other acts of violence for political ends are common all over the globe. This groundbreaking study sheds new light on the phenomenon of terrorism.

This book examines and explains the nature and sources of terrorists' beliefs, actions, goals, worldviews, and states of mind. Origins of Terr
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 18th 1998 by Woodrow Wilson Center Press (first published May 25th 1990)
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Clif
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was written before the huge surge in interest in terrorism in the United States brought on by 9/11. Since so much has been written since 1998, to read this book alone would leave the reader a bit behind the times on the subject. Nevertheless, I would recommend anyone interested in the topic starting here.

The parts dealing with the psychology of terror are quite relevant - how do terrorists justify to themselves what they do and how can engaging in terrorist acts alter the views of thos
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Kraychik
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This is pretty niche. I wouldn't recommend this book to the casual reader. The analysis of the psychological origins of terrorism is interesting, as well as some examination of cultural underpinnings to terrorism. In other words, individual psychology AND group psychology are discussed in this book with respect to their role in fuelling terrorism. Contrary to what another reviewer has said, I don't think this book is a good starting point for a reader is introducing him/herself to terrorism. A l ...more
Anthony B
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Dated, but a fantastic introduction to the subject.
Greg
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a good compendium of non-materialist explanations for the choice to use terrorism as a tactic and why terrorists participate in terrorism. There is an initial essay on the materialist point of view that terrorism is a rational instrumental choice undertaken due to relative power differential and that it works, which is the foil for the rest of the essays. One of the absolute key papers in the study of terrorism is included: Ariel Merari's work on what motivates suicide bombers (hint ...more
Marty Troyer
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The roots of violence is of great importance to me as a pacifist. In order to know how to respond to violence it's essential to understand the answer to the question, Why is violence.

The book is a really solid entry point into this discussion. It is entirely interesting to read about terrorism pre-9/11 and pre-Bush Doctrine. Eerie even. But charting the roots BEFORE the war on terrorism put it into great light. This is clearly, dangerously, one of the many books that has not made its way into th
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Steve
Sep 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Slightly dated, but good reader about the psychology of terrorism. The most interesting sections were the Red Army Faction and the Weathermen. The sections of Islamic terror seemed to be a bit reductionistic.
Jared
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
A bit aged, but it's main concepts still hold true. I did not enjoy the last section of the book devoted to hostage taking, but other then that each section was very good.
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