1st Edition

The Historical Origins of Terrorism in America

ISBN 9780415537551
Published December 20, 2013 by Routledge
312 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

When we think of American terrorism, it is modern, individual terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh that typically spring to mind. But terrorism has existed in America since the earliest days of the colonies, when small groups participated in organized and unlawful violence in the hope of creating a state of fear for their own political purposes.

Using case studies of groups such as the Green Mountain Boys, the Mollie Maguires, and the North Carolina Regulators, as well as the more widely-known Sons of Liberty and the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Kumamoto introduces readers to the long history of terrorist activity in America. Sure to incite discussion and curiosity in anyone studying terrorism or early America, The Historical Origins of Terrorism in America brings together some of the most radical groups of the American past to show that a technique that we associate with modern atrocity actually has roots much farther back in the country’s national psyche.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Origins of Political Violence 2. The North Carolina Regulators 3. The Green Mountain Boys 4. The Sons of Liberty 5. Popular Protests in the New Republic 6. The White Indians of Maine 7. The New York Anti-Rent War 8. The Ku Klux Klan 9. The Molly Maguires. Epilogue

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Robert Kumamoto is Professor Emeritus of History at San Jose State University.


"Kumamoto provides a much-needed  study of terrorism in early US history. The author uses a wide range of case studies, including early groups like the North Carolina Regulators and the Green Mountain Boys, to better-known groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Molly Maguires.  Each study is extensively researched and finely written.  The strength of this work is its breadth. This welcome and necessary addition to the literature on terrorism places this controversial topic in a new perspective.  Summing Up: Highly recommended."
—W. B. Whisenhunt, College of DuPage, in CHOICE

"With The Historical Origins of Terrorism in America, 1644-1880, Robert Kumamoto ... offers an eminently readable survey of early terrorism on American soil. ... Overall, The Historical Origins of Terrorism in America is a fascinating and quite readable work; it is a substantial contribution to a relatively neglected area of historical scholarship. It will be of interest not only to students of early American history, but to any reader seeking a useful perspective on the motivations that lead to the use of political violence."

—C. Dale Walton, Lindenwood University, in Comparative Strategy