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Inside Terrorism
 
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Inside Terrorism [Format Kindle]

Bruce Hoffman

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The word "terrorism" first became popular during the French Revolution, when the régime de la terreur was initially viewed as a positive political system that used fear to remind citizens of the necessity of virtue. The use of violence to "educate" people about ideological issues has continued, but it has taken on decidedly negative connotations--and has become predominantly, though not exclusively, a tactic deployed by those who do not have the powers of state at their disposal.

Bruce Hoffman, the director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, has written a clear summary of some of the major historical trends in international terrorism. He makes careful distinctions between the motivations that drive political (or ethno-nationalist) terrorism and religious terrorism, and he also shows why the rise of religious terrorism, coupled with the increased availability of weapons of mass destruction, may foretell an era of even greater violence. In the past, Hoffman argues, the main goal of the terrorist was not to kill, but to attract media attention to his cause in the hope of initiating reform. "For the religious terrorist," however, "violence is first and foremost a sacramental act or divine duty executed in direct response to some theological demand or imperative ... religious terrorists see themselves not as components of a system worth preserving but as 'outsiders,' seeking fundamental changes in the existing order." Hoffman does not "choose sides" in this framework, pointing to the bombings of the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City and to the sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo in order to demonstrate that fundamentalists of any religious denomination are capable of extreme acts of terrorism.

The New York Times Book Review, Raymond Bonner

Inside Terrorism is a valuable work.... [a] "must read," at least for anyone who wants to understand how we can respond to international acts of terror.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2272 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 474 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0231126999
  • Editeur : Columbia University Press; Édition : Revised & enlarged (4 août 2006)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005CAPLCU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  47 commentaires
40 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent one volume introduction to the subject 24 avril 2003
Par "top_cat1980" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Bruce Hoffman, long one of RAND's key terrorism-wallahs and an affiliate of St Andrews University has written an excellent book on a controversial topic.
There was a fair amount of literature on terrorism prior to September 11th and, my, but there's even more now. A lot of it was a load of old rubbish prior to September 11th and even more of it is now. Hoffman's book is a work of substance which in itself puts it ahead of much of the pack.
"Inside Terrorism" covers a variety of areas. It opens with a discussion about the lengthy (and continuing) debate that surrounds the issue of defining terrorism - an issue which has stumped everyone from academics to the UN. What and who exactly IS a terrorist? Hoffman doesn't provide a clear cut, definitive answer but he does provide clear coverage of what is framing the argument, along with some of the possible answers which are being put forward. Whether you consider this level of debate to be self-indulgent and ivory tower or not (as I increasingly do, interesting thought it is) it is important to know that the debate does exist and what it's all about as it goes to the heart of some real-life anti-terrorism policy making, especially with regard to multilateral attempts to curb terror groups.
Hoffman moves on to cover Post-colonial ethnic or nationalist terror groups, international terrorism, Religion and terrorism, Terrorism, Media and public opinion, Terrorist methods and mindsets and the potential future of terrorism. All in all, it adds up to a fairly comprehensive introduction to the subject. Some of Hoffman's conclusions aren't to everybody's tastes, but terrorism is an inherently controversial and hotly debated issue, it's the nature of the beast.
Overall, this is an excellent overview and introduction to the subject of terrorism. Certainly better than the recent work of Walter Laqueur. The newcomer to the subject would also be well advised to check out Christopher Harmon's "Terrorism Today" as well, along with Paul Wilkinson's "Terrorism and Democracy". Ken Booth's "Worlds in Collision" is an excellent collection of essays by various authors that is ideal for somebody with an interest in the post-September 11th world.
Hoffman's writing style is not immediately engaging (I found the book far more digestible on a second reading), but this is still an excellent work for the beginner. In a field that is both crowded and shallow, Hoffman has produced a book of genuine substance and for that he deserves credit.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you read the paper or watch the news, READ THIS BOOK! 19 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I found Inside Terrorism extremely readable, yet with the obvious authority of high quality research. Hoffman draws in the reader with skill I rarely see in nonfiction writing. This extremely complex issue so often in the forefront of today's world is dealt with in a unique yet straightforward manner. This is a 'must read' for anyone that travel, reads the newspaper or watches the evening news.
The initial chapter on 'defining terrorism' helped me start to extract from the media over-usage of this term, the relevant issues that differentiate 'terrorism' from other forms of violence. The evolutionary nature of the term is profiled showing the historic development of what is now seen exclusively in a pejorative sense. Understanding the background, historic development and indeed, the elements that makeup the essentials of terrorism, will allow the reader to evaluate the news from an informed, rather than agenda driven position.
Having provided an understanding of what the real issues are, the author moves the reader through the various types of terrorism, explaining them in adequate but not suffocating detail. Like an NFl highlight film, the reader is taken through a historical framework that keeps the readers interest while exploring the salient points. The examples read like the Sunday paper as the vivid reality jumps out at you. There is a feeling of 'insider information' without the talk show hype. This provides at last, a basis for real understanding of the frequent news stories that become such a blur of tedious detail.
This book went much futher than a historic recount of terrorism. While dates and incidents are included, they serve as interesting and helpful examples of the issue and don't become a tedious history text. Particularly interesting to me was the description and explanation of the different ideological styles. Left and right wing, ethno-nationalist, millenarian, separatist and religious motivations are unraveled in a systematic and clear manner. Similarities and differences are made evident and the importance of these aspects become clear.
In Short, this book dealt with a complex and confusing issue in a way I could understand, remember and use when I read or listen to the news.
18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Understanding Terrorism 18 juillet 2006
Par Retired Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
In the wake of the 9/11 disaster a plethora of books has been published on the nature and structure of the terrorist threat. Some are quite good, but others are absolute nonsense. Interestingly, some of the best books on both terrorism and counter-terrorism predate 9/11 and were written before counter-terrorism became the cottage industry it is today.

This book by Bruce Hoffman in cooperation with the Rand Corporation was published in 1998 and remains one of the best books available on the nature of terrorism. Hoffman provides a useful and on the whole an accurate explanation of the differences between secular, religious, transnational, and state sponsored terrorism providing useful examples of each. He also provides a good deal of probably accurate information on terrorist motivations and operational procedures. Finally he was prescient enough to recognize that the phenomenon represented by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda represent an ideological movement rather than a structured organization. After four years of the so-called, `Global War on Terrorism' this fact is slowly sinking into U.S. Government circles. Hoffman only lightly touches on the related issue of the al Qaeda financial structures, but notes the relatively small amounts of money actually required for most terrorist operations.

As indicated Hoffman does not limit this book to Islamic religious terrorism but also delves into motivations and operations techniques of secular terrorism as well. Perhaps most importantly given the July 2006 Near-East crisis, he uses Hezbollah as an example of the dangerous nature of state sponsored terrorism. All in all a sound book that contains markedly better information on terrorism than many more recent books and reflects the fruits of sound scholarship.
29 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Invaluable Perspectives Within an Historical Context 25 octobre 2001
Par Robert Morris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
For the general reader, Hoffman provides probably the best introduction to terrorism from an historical perspective. It is instructive to view the tragic events of September 11th from that perspective. Terrorists' motives as well as their strategic objectives and tactical means have differed (sometimes significantly) over the centuries. Hoffman does a brilliant job of reviewing and explaining a wide variety of separate acts of terrorism. All terrorists (religious or secular) are extremists. Frankly, I continue to have problems with the term "fundamentalists" because so many historical figures now revered acted upon the most fundamental of principles for which they were prepared to die...and many did. Like heroism, terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. Case in point: those involved with the Resistance in occupied France during World War Two. To his credit, Hoffman presents the material with great precision but without bias. It remains for each reader to formulate value judgments. Especially now, this is a "must read" for those of us who struggle to understand events on a recent Tuesday.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thorough and enlightening look at trends in modern terrorism 9 juillet 2000
Par David Q. Ziegler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Bruce Hoffman offers a fascinating and enlightening examination of the confusing nature of modern terrorism. I especially enjoyed the opening chapter on the toils of anyone trying to lay down a definition of the word "terrorism" itself. Overall, it is a must read for anyone trying to make heads or tails of today's "new-generation" terrorism. I strongly recommend it!
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