by Lila Perl

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this volume in the "Open for Debate" series, author Lila Perl tackles one of the most consuming issues that presently confound the efforts of world leaders. Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. As Perl points out in this comprehensive and well written book, individuals and groups have used terror tactics to fight for causes for many years. She traces some of the most significant terrorist organizations and the efforts their minions have made. Perl notes that terrorists fight against real or perceived ills through the use of what the mainstream public generally describes as mindless tactics. To better understand the mindset of terrorists Perl addresses groups such as the KKK, Al Qaeda, the IRA, the Red Brigades, and various American terror groups. In each instance, the author does an excellent job of detailing the events and motivations that went into the efforts of both the terrorists and the government forces that stood in opposition to them. In the end the author observes that terrorism "is a problem that cannot be solved, but can only be managed." Perl points out that the United States, and other nations, can best oppose terrorism through the combination of strong action and peaceful and cooperative preventative measures. In the end, this evenhanded conclusion bespeaks the value not only of this fine book but also the author's obvious depth of thought. 2004, Benchmark Books, Ages 12 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Well-organized and informative studies that focus on history as well as on current developments. The first book describes the various types of chemical and biological warfare, their effects, and their appeal to terrorists and some governments. Judson makes it clear that these weapons are not a recent innovation, tracing their use from the Middle Ages through World War I to modern times. She describes the anthrax attacks of 2001 and discusses measures taken to protect from and prevent the uses of these arms. Perl similarly puts terrorism in context, relating the tactics of the Ku Klux Klan; the Irish Republican Army; Israelis and Palestinians; and the "New Left," such as the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Baader-Meinhof Gang. Hijackings; bombings; hostage taking; state-sponsored attacks; and homegrown terrorists, such as the Oklahoma City bomber, are included along with the expected passages on the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the USS Cole. Anti-terror measures, including the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, are also covered, but there is surprisingly nothing on the USA PATRIOT Act. Black-and-white and full-color photos enhance the generally readable, although sometimes graphic and occasionally repetitive, texts. Robert Taylor's The History of Terrorism (Lucent, 2002) is a comparable title, while Allan B. Cobb's Biological and Chemical Weapons (Rosen, 2000) is somewhat easier than Judson's book.-Jeffrey A. French, Euclid Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
Publication date:
Open for Debate
Product dimensions:
6.58(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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