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The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to al-Qaeda

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  69 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In contrast to the widely held assumption that terrorists as crazed fanatics, Jerrold Post demonstrates they are psychologically "normal" and that "hatred has been bred in the bone". He reveals the powerful motivations that drive these ordinary people to such extraordinary evil by exploring the different types of terrorists, from national-separatists like the Irish Republi ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 10th 2007 by St. Martin's Press
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Mar 04, 2011 rated it liked it
FINALLY...I get through this book. I must say, content-wise, the book was great. From a readability standpoint, though, I had a very tough time with it. I consider myself an advanced reader, but the book felt intellectually forced. A word to the author, when writing about a subject that forces you to list name after name of foreign language origins, keep your writing style simpler. The names were difficult for me to follow and the sentence structure didn't help me internalize the actual point th ...more
John Pappas
Post's book, other than some prefatory material and occasional references to Ariel Merari's work, is less psychological than the title advertises. After his initial essay about the difference between national-separatist terror and socialist left-wing terror, he focuses mainly on the history of the groups, their structure and internal politics, and general motivations. Interesting none-the-less, but this lacks the deeper psychological acuity promised by the title.
Michael Griswold
Jerrod Post's "The Mind of the Terrorist" provided an illuminating look into the mind of the leaders of several terrorist organizations...several of which including Shining Path, The Red Brigades, and The Red Army Faction I was previously unaware of. Although no terrorist can be perfectly painted into a box, Post is able to create some common themes : Most terrorists had experienced some sort of severe shaping childhood loss, many of them have grown up in minority groups within states that are t ...more
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you read about terrorism and conflict, then this book is not that original.
But the author has managed, through the stories of various terrorist groups, to bring
in one book a lot of subjects on the issue of why people become terrorist.
And he does it in a simple and easy to understand way so that the reader can realize
and comprehend this phenomenon.
My only problem with the book, as with many books, articles, seminars etc on terrorism
is that there is no focus on state sponsored terrorism, and th
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly thorough look at terrorism – its history and its causes. The author differentiates terrorism into subcategories: those that carry on their parents’ beliefs, those that go against their parents’ beliefs and those who commit these acts for religious purposes by looking at different examples of each. He then gives some great advice for how to successfully deal with modern terrorism that make sense. This book is filled with some great insights and advice that modern politicians ...more
Stewart Cotterill
For a book entitled "the psychology of terrorism" there is relatively little psychological evidence in this book. It is a great book if you are concerned with the history of terrorism. However, if you really do want a psychological insight into why people become terrorists, Anne Speckhard's book is a much better choice.
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Dr. Post has devoted his entire career to the field of political psychology. Dr. Post came to George Washington after a 21 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency where he founded and directed the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, an interdisciplinary behavioral science unit which provided assessments of foreign leadership and decision making for the President
More about Jerrold M. Post...

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