VOYA - Leslie BakerThis series, entitled The Roots of Terrorism, takes on the complex issue of terrorism in the past and now. Each volume discusses a different aspect of terrorism, including where it comes from, who terrorists are, what terrorism is, and whether or not its threat will ever end. The Roots of Terrorism focuses on from where terrorism itself stems and whether the issues are psychological, organizational, or political. Ultimately the author concludes that there are no easy answers as to what causes terrorism. What Is Terrorism? gives a history of terrorism from its early beginnings through current events. This volume describes the actions and goals of numerous terrorist groups from the Sicarii (a sect trying to end Roman rule over the Jews around AD 100) to recognizable groups like al Qaeda. This series has a great deal of information about theories on terrorism, filling a niche that is still sorely lacking in current works. Although each volume focuses on different aspects, much information is repeated in other books. The glossy pages show off an eye-pleasing color format with neat sections and well-placed pictures. The books feature insets that deepen knowledge or discussion of particular topics. This series, which also includes books on Middle East terrorism, domestic terrorism, and the question of whether terrorism will end, would be valuable in school libraries, especially those in need of a good research source on this topic.
Children's Literature - Debbie LevyWith terrorism in the headlines, and the so-called war on terrorism monopolizing much of American politics today, coolheaded and informed discussion about this subject is just what concerned young adults need. This book, one of six volumes in the publisher's "Roots of Terrorism" series, takes a broad look at the causes of terrorism. Using historical and contemporary examples, the author explores why and how terrorist groups are organized, and the relationship between political and economic friction in society and the rise of terrorist organizations. Some of the most thought-provoking discussion addresses the psychological causes of terrorismthat is, what seems to go on in the minds of people who engage in terrorist activitiesand the role of religion in terrorism. Moghadam, an academic at Harvard and Tufts universities, presents dispassionate yet compelling explanations and analyses of terrorists and terrorism, removing all hysteria and talk of evil empires from the conversationwithout, of course, suggesting that terrorism is ever justified. His conclusion is at once hopeful and sobering: The world has known and survived terrorists (of all different nationalities and religions) for millennia, and terrorism will be with us as long as people believe "that violence is the best means to achieve their goals." For mature high school readers (and adults), this book is a fine beginning to understanding one of the defining scourges of our timesand an excellent antidote to more simplistic explanations presented in some media outlets.
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