The author's profile is impressive: Prof Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over thirty years. He is a professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, Washington, DC and has previously held the Corporate Chair in Counter-terrorism and Counter-insurgency at the RAND Corporation as well as having been the Acting Director of RAND's Centre for Middle East Public Policy.
Perhaps the most important contribution this unquestionably scholarly work makes to society in general is that it alerts us to the fragile balance under which most societies operate and the fine line betwixt an apparently 'normal' mindset and distinctly radical, extremist one. As a previous reviewer has pointed out, Hoffman, depicts terrorists as, largely, in many respects, being like 'the person in the street'. This is as worrying for many as it is unquestionably true for all.
The process of radicalisation is an altogether absorbing science in itself. Fortunately, it is something that has been around quite literally for millenia now and - for every dark cloud (and, let's face it, the clouds of terror are starker than most) has a silver lining - after each attack or terror act, we are able to improve our databases, enhance our understanding and, thus, our opportunities to profile more accurately and prevent the next attempted act.
This book is specialised but not too much so and this reviewer believes that it will be an interesting read for most. The precise causes underpinning a propensity or tendency towards radicalisation lie deep within the human psyche and its profound well of insecurities et al. This book will help to throw light on this and other related topics for many.
Michael Calum Jacques (author of 1st Century Radical: the shadowy origins of the man who became known as Jesus Christ)