Though the history of terrorism stretches back to the ancient world, today it is often understood as a recent development. Comprehensive enough to serve as a survey for students or newcomers to the field, yet with enough depth to engage the specialist, The Routledge History of Terrorism is the first single-volume authoritative reference text to place terrorism firmly into its historical context.
Terrorism is a transnational phenomenon with a convoluted history that defies easy periodization and narrative treatment. Over the course of 32 chapters, experts in the field analyze its historical significance and explore how and why terrorism emerged as a set of distinct strategies, tactics, and mindsets across time and space. Chapters address not only familiar topics such as the Northern Irish Troubles, the Palestine Liberation Organization, international terrorism, and the rise of al-Qaeda, but also lesser-explored issues such as:
- American racial terrorism
- state terror and terrorism in the Middle Ages
- tyrannicide from Ancient Greece and Rome to the seventeenth century
- the roots of Islamist violence
- the urban guerrilla, terrorism, and state terror in Latin America
- literary treatments of terrorism.
With an introduction by the editor explaining the book’s rationale and organization, as well as a guide to the definition of terrorism, an historiographical chapter analysing the historical approach to terrorism studies, and an eight-chapter section that explores critical themes in the history of terrorism, this book is essential reading for all those interested in the past, present, and future of terrorism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Notes on contributors. 1. Introduction Randall D. Law Section I: State Terror, Tyrannicide, and Terrorism in the Pre-Modern World 2. Tyrannicide from Ancient Greece and Rome to the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century Johannes Dillinger 3. Pre-modern Terrorism: The Cases of the Sicarii and the Assassins Donathan Taylor and Yannick Gautron 4. Terrorism in the Middle Ages: The Seeds of Later Developments Steven Isaac Section II: The Emergence of Modern Terrorism 5. The French Revolution and Early European Revolutionary Terrorism Mike Rapport 6. Terrorism in America from the Colonial Period to John Brown Matthew Jennings 7. Entangled Terrorisms in Late Imperial Russia Martin Miller 8. Anarchist Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Europe and the World, 1878-1934 Richard Bach Jensen 9. Anarchist Terrorism in the United States Thai Jones 10. American Racial Terrorism from Civil War to Civil Rights Blake Gilpin Section III: Terrorism in the Twentieth Century 11. State Terrorism in Early Twentieth-Century Europe Paul Hagenloh 12. Britain’s Small Wars: The Challenge to Empire, 1881-1951 Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon 13. Britain’s Small Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 1952-1968 Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon 14. The Northern Irish Troubles – Cillian McGrattan 15. Terror, Counter-Terror and Compliance: the Escalation of Violence in the Algerian War of Independence Martin C. Thomas 16. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization Boaz Ganor 17. The Roots of Islamism and Islamist Violence John Calvert 18. Islamist Terrorism from the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas David Cook 19. The Urban Guerrilla, Terrorism, and State Terror
Randall D. Law is Associate Professor of History at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, where he teaches courses on Russia, Modern Europe, and terrorism. He is the author of Terrorism: A History (2009) and is frequently interviewed by national and international reporters on matters related to terrorism and Russian politics. His current research is on terrorism, violence, and criminality in the city of Odessa in the Russian Empire in the early twentieth century.
"Virtually any student of this form of political violence will find much of interest in this volume...Although presented as a work of history, the book ends with excellent thematic chapters on subjects such as new media, technology, and the fictionalization of terrorist narratives. Valuable as a compendium and as a reference work, this wonderful compilation is a worthwhile addition to any personal or institutional collection. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
M. O'Gara, Rocky Mountain College, CHOICE
"The historical study of terrorism has come of age. Randall Law’s skillfully edited collection follows the spectacle of terror from ancient to recent times, recounting how symbolic violence against the few has long been used to communicate messages to broader audiences. Whether at the hands of state or non-state actors, driven by secular or religious beliefs, or involving real threats or imagined dangers, terrorism has been a strategy best grasped in its historical contexts. Meticulously detailed and sweepingly synthetic, The Routledge History of Terrorism is an essential guide for students and an indispensable resource for researchers and anyone who cares about this burning issue of our day."
Julian Bourg, Boston College, USA
"Exceptionally rich and sophisticated in analysis, The Routledge History of Terrorism is a much needed addition to the currently available literature on the subject and deserves to be read not only by students and academic specialists but also by security analysts, policy makers and general readers."
George Kassimeris, University of Wolverhampton, UK