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Description - Blood and Rage by Michael Burleigh

A far-reaching history of terrorism across the world, from its beginnings to the modern day, from the highly acclaimed author of 'Sacred Causes' and 'Earthly Powers'. The paperback edition will be updated to cover recent events - including the recent terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 and the continued military clash in Gaza in early 2009. Basing his study on a wide range of sources and key players from the world of terrorism, Burleigh explains and defines the meaning of terrorism and marks its progression from its hard-to-trace beginnings to the modern day. Burleigh takes us from the origins of terrorism in the Irish Republican Brotherhood - the precursors of the IRA - on to look at Tsarist Russia, where the 'intelligentsia' launched attacks on organs of state, and left-wing fighting against 'Fascism' and 'Nazism' in the 1970s and 1980s in western Germany and Italy. But such nationalist terrrorism has in turn been eclipsed by international jihadist violence, largely driven by widespread resentment of the successful societes of the West. Burleigh explores the background and the milieu of people engaged in careers of political violence, and examines their various mindsets as revealed by their actions rather than their words. He makes clear that the West has considerable resources to comprehend and combat terrorism and shows how history enables us to see how terrrorism can be effectively contained and countered - if only by avoiding some of the major mistakes of the past. An unrivalled study that sheds an insightful new light on a plight that threatens to affect the world at large for many years to come, 'Blood and Rage' establishes Michael Burleigh as one of the most original, learned and important historians of our time.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780007242252
ISBN-10: 0007242255
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 40mm)
Pages: 608
Imprint: HarperPerennial
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 2-Apr-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Blood and Rage by Michael Burleigh

US Kirkus Review » A careful, sharp-edged study of warfare by other means.Terrorism, writes British historian Burleigh (Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics from the Great War to the War on Terror, 2007, etc.), is "a tactic primarily used by non-state actors to create a psychological climate of fear in order to compensate for the legitimate political power they do not possess." In what is likely to incite at least a little controversy, the author locates the origins of terrorism not in the Assassin cult of medieval Syria or the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but instead in the Fenian movement of the mid-19th century, when Irish dissidents rose up against England and its presumed allies on three continents. The Fenians were thwarted by combined actions undertaken by the U.S. and British governments, but not before causing plenty of disorder and mayhem. The same was so of the nihilists of Russia, who, like contemporary anarchists elsewhere in Europe, tossed dynamite at the police and the ruling class - many of those dynamiters, Burleigh notes, were young upper-class women a la Patty Hearst. The author adds that the anarchist bombers caused exaggerated panic that "served to discredit political philosophies whose libertarian impulses might otherwise strike some as praiseworthy." Less exalted, to most modern sensibilities, are the aims of the modern terrorists to whom Burleigh devotes the lion's share of the book, foremost among them the Islamists. The context of jihadist terrorism, he notes, is fairly young, traced to an outburst of fundamentalist zealotry 30 years ago and marked by parallel movements in other monotheistic faiths, though "without the same violent effects." Burleigh is no relativist, and he has pointed words for anyone who is, becoming quite like Pat Buchanan in the concluding pages - save that Burleigh looks to the politicians of Australia, and not Northern Virginia, to argue "that there are lines in the sand...which are not going to be crossed."Readable and provocative, though with a decidedly conservative cast. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh's two-part history of politics and religion, 'Earthly Powers' and 'Sacred Causes', were two of the most acclaimed books of 2005 and 2006 respectively. His work has been translated into fifteen languages and his 'The Third Reich: A New History' won the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2001. He writes for several newspapers on religion, history and politics. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board at the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte in Munich and wrote this book while a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford. He is married and lives in London.

Books By Michael Burleigh

Small Wars, Faraway Places by Michael Burleigh
Paperback / softback, November 2014
Small Wars, Far Away Places by Michael Burleigh
Paperback, April 2013
Moral Combat by Michael Burleigh
Paperback / softback, May 2012
Sacred Causes by Michael Burleigh
Paperback, October 2007