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Inside Terrorism

Inside Terrorism [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Hoffman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A must read to all academics or practitioners who are dealing with the issue of terrorism."


"A must read to all academics or practitioners who are dealing with the issue of terrorism."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2272 KB
  • Print Length: 474 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0231126999
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised & enlarged edition (4 Aug 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,862 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial and outdated 16 Jan 2012
Hoffman's book, along with the works of Walter Laqueur and Marc Sageman, is the standard text issued to students in the field and to national security officials. It adopts the traditional view prevalent in western academic and military circles: that terrorism is a violent technique employed by non-state actors (mostly Muslims) to achieve political ends. However, even if you agree with such a stance, this work will not help you further your understanding of the subject. In essence, it's a discussion of political theory supported by outdated examples and generalizations; and it fails to provide any practical detailed investigation into the mechanisms of terrorism. Nevertheless, it does possess one important redeeming feature in its authoritative discussion of how terrorists manipulate the media.

The book's first chapter constitutes a poor attempt at defining terrorism. Hoffman does not give his own opinions, but refers instead to definitions published by the Oxford dictionary and several US governmental agencies. He rapidly dismisses the contention that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" by arguing that terrorists are not regular combatants because their actions violate the Geneva Convention. More importantly, the book completely fails to address why people might engage in terrorist activities (a subject much better covered by Robert A. Pape's "Dying to Win").

After this introduction, Hoffman presents a brief (and incongruous) historical survey of his subject. In his opinion, terrorism is directly linked to the struggles of post-WWII de-colonization. Like communism, it is an "international conspiracy". This often leads him into the troubled waters of double-standards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive review of terrorism 9 May 2013
By MissC
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an easy to read, well written analysis of all aspects of terrorism. Although wordy in parts - this book would not pass the plain English test - the fluidity and pace of the narrative and the diversity of topics covered mean this this book still provide a clear and comprehensive overview of terrorism. I have found it to be indispensable in further study of this area as it is reference by a number of other leading scholars in the field.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating 7 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No stone unturned here, including a welcome assessment of what terrorism isn't. The historical roots of terrorism were a chilling discovery to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars General Textbook 13 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a general textbook on terrorism then this is it. Provides an excellent overview of the subject and helps the reader to gain a comprehensive understanding.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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)
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