Terrorists don't kill and die just for a cause.
They kill and die for each other.
In this rigorous and challenging work that combines the penetrating insight of The Looming Tower and the historical sweep and scope of Guns, Germs, and Steel, renowned social scientist Scott Atran traces terrorism's root causes in human evolution and history, touching on the nature of faith, the origins of society, the limits of reason, and the power of moral values.
Atran interviews and investigates Al Qaeda associates and acolytes, including Jemaah Islamiyah, Lashkar-e-Tayibah, and the Madrid train bombers, as well as other non-Qaeda groups, such as Hamas and the Taliban, and their sponsoring communities, from the jungles of Southeast Asia and the political wastelands of the Middle East to New York, London, and Madrid. His conclusions are startling, important, and sure to be controversial.
Terrorists, he reminds us, are social beings, influenced by social connections and values familiar to us all, as members of school clubs, sports teams, or community organizations. When notions of the homeland, a family of friends, and a band of brothers are combined with the zeal of belief, amazing things—both good and bad—are possible: the passage of civil rights legislation, the U.S. Olympic hockey team's victory in 1980, the destruction of 9/11 and the attacks on the London Underground in July 2005.
Atran corrects misconceptions about suicide bombers and radical Islam, explaining how our tolerance for faith enables extremists to flourish, and shows why atheism and science education have little effect. Going beyond analysis, he offers practical solutions that can help us identify terrorists today, prevent the creation of future terrorists, and ultimately make the world a safer place for everyone.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Table of Contents
Part I The Cause
1 Sulawesi: An Anthropologist at Work 3
2 To Be Human: What Is It? 24
3 The Moors of Mezuak 45
Part II The Religious Rise of Civilizations
4 Creation of the Western World 61
5 Submission: Islam 77
6 The Tides of Terror 91
7 A Parallel Universe: The 9/11 Hamburg Group and the Three Waves of Jihad 105
Part III Whither Al Qaeda? Bali and Madrid
8 Farhin's Way 119
9 The Road to Bali: "For All You Christian Infidels!" 135
10 The JI Social Club 155
11 The Great Train Bombing: Madrid, March 11, 2004 168
12 Looking for Al Qaeda 195
13 The Ordinariness of Terror 211
Part IV The Wild East
14 Prying into Pakistan 227
15 A Question of Honor: Why the Taliban Fight and What to Do About It 241
16 The Terror Scare: Exaggerating Threats at Home and Abroad 266
Part V War Parties-Groups, God, and Glory
17 All in the Family: Imagined Kin, Friendship, and Teamwork 295
18 Blood Sport: War Makes Men Men 318
19 Beyond All Reason: The Clausewitz Delusion 332
Part VI "The Mother of All Problems"- Palestine, The World's Symbolic Knot
20 Martyrdom 101 351
21 Words to End Wars: The Science of the Sacred 373
Part VII The Divine Dream and the Collapse of Cultures
22 Bad Faith: The New Atheist Salvation 405
23 Human Rites: Natural Origins and Evolution of Religion 428
24 Our Religious World 457
Epilogue: Abe's Answer-The Question of Politics 479