Children's LiteratureIn 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