Today, political violence has become the scourge of our world and terrorism is routinely described as a uniquely modern evil. Yet however unprecedented in scope the new terrorist organizations might appear, Matthew Carr argues in this definitive history of terrorism that they are merely offshoots of a spectacular bombing in 1881: the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II by terrorists ...or were they freedom fighters? Thus begins a narrative of extraordinary sweep that Publishers Weekly called 'engrossing, unsettling' and the Boston Globe praised as 'brave and wise' and 'a book for the ages.' In The Infernal Machine, Carr unearths the complex realities of terrorist violence and its indelible impact on nations as different as Italy, Argentina, France, Algeria, Ireland, Russia, Japan, and the United States. Spanning over a century of world history, The Infernal Machine reveals stunning similarities in societies' responses to terrorism despite profound political and cultural differences. Carr demonstrates again and again that the true impact of terrorism has been felt in the overreactions of government and the media to acts of political violence. This encyclopedic and diagnostic primer for our frightening times allows us to see our current predicament against a background of striking historical parallels.
Matt Carr has been a freelance print and radio journalist since the early 1980s. In addition to presenting radio features and documentaries from Spain for the BBC World Service and Radio 4, he has written for a range of newspapers, journals and magazines including Esquire, the New York Times, History Today, The Observer, Marie Claire, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Geographical Magazine and Le Point. He has also been a regular contributor to The First Post online magazine and the IPS news agency.
He is the author of the acclaimed memoir My Father's House (Penguin Books, 1997), and Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain (New Press 2009: Hurst & Co 2010), which was selected for the New York Times Editors' Choice in January 2011. He is the author of The Infernal Machine: an Alternative History of Terrorism (Hurst & Co), published in the United States as The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism from the Assassination of Alexander II to al-Qaeda (New Press, 2007).
His forthcoming book: Dispatches from a Gated Continent is an investigation of the treatment of refugees and undocumented migrants in Europe, which is due to be published in the UK and the US in the autumn. In addition to frequent appearances on British, American and Canadian radio as a guest contributor, usually on terrorism-related issues, he has lectured and given seminars in a number of British universities, schools and cultural and educational institutions, including Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham universities and the Cervantes Institute in London.
He blogs regularly on politics, terrorism and counterterrorism, books, history, cinema, music and other things that interest him at: www.infernalmachine.co.uk