What Terrorists Want, Louise Richardson
What can terrorists possibly hope to achieve by blowing up commuters, bond traders and tourists whom they have never even met?
Why do seemingly ordinary young men and women volunteer to turn themselves into human bombs?
What can we do to stop them?
In What Terrorists Want Louise Richardson investigates these crucial questions. She delves into the minds of terrorists and demonstrates that they are not crazed criminals but rational, ideological actors willing to exploit their own weaknesses to maximum effect. By introducing us to terrorists through history, she shows that we must look way beyond 9/11 and simplistic associations with Islam.
Having grown up in rural Ireland and watched her friends join the Irish Republican Army, Richardson knows from first-hand experience how terrorism can both unite and destroy a community. As a professor at Harvard, she has devoted her career to explaining terrorist movements throughout history and around the globe. From the biblical Zealots to the medieval Islamic Assassins to the anarchists who infiltrated the cities of Europe and North America at the turn of the last century, terrorists have struck at enemies far more powerful than themselves with targeted acts of violence. Yet Richardson understands that terrorists are neither insane nor immoral. Rather, they are rational political actors who often deploy carefully calibrated tactics in a measured and reasoned way. What is more, they invariably go to great lengths to justify their actions to themselves, their followers, and, often, the world.
Richardson shows that the nature of terrorism did not change after the attacks of September 11, 2001; what changed was our response. She argues that the Bush administration's "global war on terror" was doomed to fail because of an ignorance of history, a refusal to learn from the experience of other governments, and a fundamental misconception about how and why terrorists act. As an alternative, Richardson offers a feasible strategy for containing the terrorist threat and cutting off its grassroots support.
What Terrorists Want controversially but convincingly argues that only by understanding the forces that drive terrorism can we hope to contain it. It also shows us why the Global War on Terror is doomed to fail, but how with a different strategy we can prevail.
Condition: Good. A book that has been read but is in good condition. Slight wear to the book cover. No highlighting of text, no writing in the margins, and no missing pages.
Author: Louise Richardson