Terrorist Attacks on American Soil: From the Civil War Era to the Present

Overview

Understanding the context of terrorism requires a trek through history, in this case the history of terrorist activity in the United States since the Civil War. Because the topic is large and complex, Terrorists Attacks on American Soil: From the Civil War to the Present does not claim to be an exhaustive history of terrorism or the definitive account of how and why terrorists do what they do. Instead, this book takes a representative sampling of the most horrific terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in an effort to ...
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Terrorist Attacks on American Soil: From the Civil War Era to the Present

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Overview

Understanding the context of terrorism requires a trek through history, in this case the history of terrorist activity in the United States since the Civil War. Because the topic is large and complex, Terrorists Attacks on American Soil: From the Civil War to the Present does not claim to be an exhaustive history of terrorism or the definitive account of how and why terrorists do what they do. Instead, this book takes a representative sampling of the most horrific terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in an effort to understand the context in which they occurred and the lessons that can be learned from these events.
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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Martinez (Kennesaw State Univ.) has produced a pithy, highly readable analysis of selected terrorist attacks in the US since the Civil War era. The author notes that he does not intend his book to be an exhaustive history of terrorism, but rather a representative sampling of some of the major incidents of the last 150 years. His stated purpose is to examine some of the common characteristics found in these past terrorist attacks in order not only to better understand them, but also to draw useful lessons for modern students of terrorism. Each chapter examines a particular incident and then provides some analysis as to whether or not the incident even qualifies as terrorism, based on selected criteria. While Martinez acknowledges that there is no magic formula to identify terrorism, he does provide a very useful conceptual framework for studying the phenomenon and its impact on US history. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates, upper-division undergraduates.
Library Journal
The United States has suffered a number of violent attacks on its own soil. Martinez (Coming for To Carry Me Home) surveys 12 of them: three in the 19th century (e.g., the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre); five in the "Modern Era" (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan's 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963); and four examples of "Postmodern Terror" (e.g., the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11). He examines each attack to determine whether it qualifies as a "terrorist act." The choice of the Mormon destruction of a wagon train in 1857 at Mountain Meadows makes an odd start—Martinez concludes that it was not terrorism. He covers the social circumstances surrounding each attack in order to describe the motivations and origins of the perpetrators. In the cases of individual actors such as Ted Kazinsky, the Unibomber, this is effective; when touching upon the Weathermen or the Klan the context is less clearly delineated. Martinez's conclusion, hardly a surprise, is that throughout history disaffected people have resorted to terrorism to spread or emphasize their causes. VERDICT For lay readers or underclassmen, this work, which lacks groundbreaking insights, might be a good choice.—Edwin Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442203235
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 805,419
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Michael Martinez is an attorney and author of numerous articles and five books, including Coming for to Carry Me Home: Race in America from Abolitionism to Jim Crow.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Understanding Terrorism
PART I: The Nineteenth Century
Chapter 1: “A Sight Which Can Never Be Forgotten”: The Mountain
Meadows Massacre (1857)
Chapter 2: “The Gentle, Kindhearted Bioterrorist”: Luke Pryor Blackburn and the
Yellow Fever Plot (1864-1865)
Chapter 3: “We May Suspect That Race was the Cause of the Hostility”: The
Colfax Massacre (1873)
PART II: The Modern Era
Chapter 4: “The McNamaras Have Betrayed Labor”: The Los Angeles Times
Bombing (1910)
Chapter 5: “An Explosion Just Like the Sound of a Gatling Gun”: The Wall Street
Bombing (1920)
Chapter 6: “A President Has to Expect These Things”: The Truman Assassination
Attempt (1950)
Chapter 7: “The Klan is Back on the Market”: The Sixteenth Street Bombing and the
Civil Rights Movement (1963)
Chapter 8: “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Winds Blows”:
Weatherman and the Counterculture Movement (1960s)
PART III: Postmodern Terror
Chapter 9: “A Revolution Against the Industrial System”: The Unabomber
(1970s-1990s)
Chapter 10: “How Charged with Punishments the Scroll”: The Oklahoma City
Bombing (1995)
Chapter 11: “There is a Bomb in Centennial Park; You Have 30 Minutes”:
Eric Robert Rudolph (Late 1990s)
Chapter 12: “The System was Blinking Red”: The Radical Islamic Movement and the September 11 Attacks
PART IV: Conclusion
The Lessons of Terrorism
Notes
References
About the Author
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