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©2002 Oxford University Press; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I decided to give this title a shot as a preparation for a course on terrorism and homeland security. And to that extent it served its purpose. This title does do a good giving a wide prospective and historical basis of terrorism over time. It also does a good job covering the differences between nationalism, religious fundamentalism, terrorism and being a terrorist. A print version would probably be useful if want more of a reusable reference. So why downgrade it to three stars? Largely the reader. Monotone. Monotonous. Difficult to take in more than 20 minute chunks.
I made two passes at this audiobook to finish it, because I found the Marxist and rather pro-terrorism slant problematic and startling. The author seems to be mildly in sympathy with a number of the terrorist groups and generally opposed to government. Unsurprisingly, given that slant, he seems to disapprove of Jewish terrorism in the early days of the Israeli state, and is not convinced the current wave of Islamic terrorism is terrorism at all, but "fanaticism."
On the other hand, he does address terroristic uprisings chronologically, which is helpful, and categorizes their general emphases: assassinations, fighting for communism, nationalist movements, etc.
The reading is remarkably bad -- wooden and hard to follow. The reader does pronounce the many foreign names and words well, regardless of language. I cannot recommend this audiobook. There are a number of offerings on Audible about terrorism; I liked the Walter Laqueur book.
"Dated and too relativistic"
Its a hold over from an earlier era, simply too dated to be of interest to anyone interested in the post 9/11 world. It is very weak on Islamist terrorism and irritatingly relativistic. There are many better books on the market. Try Bruce Hoffman and Walter Laqueur on the history of terrorism, Lawrence Wright and Mary Habeck on Al Qaeda and the works of David Kilcullen for a much better understanding of terrorism and Islamism today
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