Dying to Kill : The Allure of Suicide Terror by Mia Bloom, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Dying to Kill : The Allure of Suicide Terror

Dying to Kill : The Allure of Suicide Terror

by Mia Bloom
     
 

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What motivates suicide bombers in Iraq and around the world? Can winning the hearts and minds of local populations stop them? Will the phenomenon spread to the United States? These vital questions are at the heart of this important book. Mia Bloom examines the use, strategies, successes, and failures of suicide bombing in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe and

Overview

What motivates suicide bombers in Iraq and around the world? Can winning the hearts and minds of local populations stop them? Will the phenomenon spread to the United States? These vital questions are at the heart of this important book. Mia Bloom examines the use, strategies, successes, and failures of suicide bombing in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe and assesses the effectiveness of government responses. She argues that in many instances the efforts of Israel, Russia, and the United States in Iraq have failed to deter terrorism and suicide bombings. Bloom also considers how terrorist groups learn from one another, how they respond to counterterror tactics, the financing of terrorism, and the role of suicide attacks against the backdrop of larger ethnic and political conflicts.

Dying to Kill begins with a review of the long history of terrorism, from ancient times to modernity, from the Japanese Kamikazes during World War II, to the Palestinian, Tamil, Iraqi, and Chechen terrorists of today. Bloom explores how suicide terror is used to achieve the goals of terrorist groups: to instill public fear, attract international news coverage, gain support for their cause, and create solidarity or competition between disparate terrorist organizations. She contends that it is often social and political motivations rather than inherently religious ones that inspire suicide bombers. In her chapter focusing on the increasing number of women suicide bombers and terrorists, Bloom examines Sri Lanka, where 33 percent of bombers have been women; Turkey, where the PKK used women feigning pregnancy as bombers; and the role of the Black Widows in the Chechen struggle against Moscow.

The motives of individuals, whether religious or nationalist, are important but the larger question is, what external factors make it possible for suicide terrorism to flourish? Bloom describes these conditions and develops a theory of why terrorist tactics work in some instances and fail in others.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Times - Joshua Sinai
Ms. Bloom...who has done extensive field research...[is] able to present a more nuanced and better informed analysis of suicide terror.

ForeWord - Karl Helicher
An insightful investigation into the internal workings of terrorist groups.

Altar Magazine - Katherine Boothroyd
Pertinent for western countries... It's a great introduction for students and those wishing to know more about the complex motivations of suicide bombers.

The National Interest - Peter Pham
Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups.

UFO.SE - Stefan Isaksson
The book is both well written and very informative... In troubled times such as these the book is worth reading.

Salem Press - Ira Smolensky
A detailed study of suicide terror.

Security Management - Mayer Nudell
[Bloom] makes a convincing case.

Current - J. Peter Pham
Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups.

Political Science Quarterly - Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca
A welcome addition to a rapidly growing field of research.

Azure - Aharon Horowitz
Dying to Kill leaves us with a better understanding of the effects of oppression on populations, and the rationale behind the adoption of suicide bombing as a strategy by both groups and individuals.

Washington Times
Ms. Bloom...who has done extensive field research...[is] able to present a more nuanced and better informed analysis of suicide terror.

— Joshua Sinai

Washington Post Book World
[Bloom] sheds interesting light on a phenomenon often mistakenly believed to be restricted to the Middle East.

ForeWord
An insightful investigation into the internal workings of terrorist groups.

— Karl Helicher

Altar Magazine
Pertinent for western countries... It's a great introduction for students and those wishing to know more about the complex motivations of suicide bombers.

— Katherine Boothroyd

The National Interest
Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups.

— Peter Pham

UFO.SE
The book is both well written and very informative... In troubled times such as these the book is worth reading.

— Stefan Isaksson

Salem Press
A detailed study of suicide terror.

— Ira Smolensky

Security Management
[Bloom] makes a convincing case.

— Mayer Nudell

Current
Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups.

— J. Peter Pham

Political Science Quarterly
A welcome addition to a rapidly growing field of research.

— Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca

Azure
Dying to Kill leaves us with a better understanding of the effects of oppression on populations, and the rationale behind the adoption of suicide bombing as a strategy by both groups and individuals.

— Aharon Horowitz

American Jewish Life
Anyone who wishes to really attempt to understand the history and motivations, Mia Bloom's tome is the way to go.

Publishers Weekly
An "explanation of the unexplainable," this lucid and comprehensive study of the historical roots and contemporary motivations of suicide terror is a major study. Bloom's historical range is formidable; the first eight chapters are a marvel of historical compression, moving from the Zealots of first-century Judea to the Japanese kamikaze of WWII within a few bleak but instructive pages. Bloom stresses that suicide bombings can only thrive with the implied consent of an aggrieved population, which can be withdrawn: the Omagh bombing of 1998, for example, was a disaster for the IRA. Over and over again-from Chechnya to the West Bank-history teaches that harsh counterterror tactics become part of the cycle, or, as University of Cincinnati political scientist Bloom terms it, part of the contagion of violence. She sees hopeful signs in Turkey's recent measured and partially successful response to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The book also includes a fascinating chapter on suicide terror as practiced by women, especially in Chechnya and Sri Lanka, and how it is viewed, ironically, as a source of female empowerment. The last chapter is a clear-eyed consideration of the possible occurrence of suicide bombing on U.S. territory. A generous appendix contains charts and usefully annotated list of sources. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231133210
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/08/2007
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
498,030
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Jessica Stern
The most insightful and comprehensive assessment of suicide bombing to date. Why do they do it? How can we stop them? In focusing on a type of terrorism likely to be increasingly important in the future, Mia Bloom has performed an important service for all of us.

Bruce Hoffman
Dying to Kill is the first scholarly, book-length treatment of the phenomenon of suicide terrorism. It is at once strengthened and enlivened by Mia Bloom's mastery of the subject, her impressive fieldwork and new and novel approaches to analyzing this growing threat. Most importantly, this is a book that will appeal as much to those charged with countering suicide terrorism as to scholars seeking to understand it.

David C. Rapoport
The most comprehensive and lucid book on suicide terror available, one that helps take the mystery out of the phenomena.

Meet the Author

Mia Bloom is an assistant professor of International Affairs at the University of Georgia in Athens. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of the Council of World Affairs. She has published numerous articles on war, terrorism, and ethnic conflict, and her research investigates atrocities across several regions, contrasting the Middle East with South Asia, Europe, and Africa. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and Crail, Scotland.

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