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Why is it that terrorism has become such a central factor in our lives despite all the efforts to eradicate it? Ranging from early modern Europe to the contemporary Middle East, Martin Miller reveals the foundations of modern terrorism. He argues that the French Revolution was a watershed moment as it was then that ordinary citizens first claimed the right to govern. The traditional notion of state legitimacy was forever altered and terrorism became part of a violent contest over control of state power between officials in government and insurgents in society. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries terrorism evolved into a way of seeing the world and a way of life for both insurgents and state security forces with the two sides drawn ever closer in their behaviour and tactics. This is a groundbreaking history of terrorism which, for the first time, integrates the violence of governments and insurgencies.Read more
- Challenges contemporary understanding of terrorism and the way policy-makers, the media and scholarship contribute to dominant perspectives
- Promotes a deeper understanding of the complexities of terrorism through historical examples from the French Revolution to the present day
- Draws on evidence from Europe, Russia and the US as well as material from Africa and Latin America
Reviews & endorsements
"Miller has written a splendid scene-shifting narrative of dilemmas of power, with cameos of individual terrorists, theoreticians of terror, architects of state terror, and scenes of terror across the globe. His study offers deep understanding of the basic and enduring reasons for both Red and White Terror."
Philip Pomper, Wesleyan UniversitySee more reviews
"Martin Miller has written a fresh and provocative history of terrorism from the French Revolution to the contemporary world. By spotlighting the dynamic interplay between terrorist movements and the modern state, its security apparatuses and ‘wars on terrorism’, Miller compels readers to rethink the origins, nature, and scope of terrorism in its broadest sense. This important book demonstrates the fundamental significance of history to contemporary debates about terrorism and state violence."
Susan Morrissey, University College London
"The Foundations of Modern Terrorism is an unusual, well-written and fascinating study of the relationship between rebel and state terror from the French Revolution to the end of the twentieth century. The first serious study of a very important problem, it will intrigue everyone interested in the terrorism, provoke many future studies and be a landmark in the discipline."
David C. Rapoport, founding and co-editor, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence
"Miller offers a concise overview of modern terrorism pre-9/11 … Evenhanded, clear, dispassionate in tone, and wide ranging in scope, this book gathers the work of specialized research into one convenient account. Useful indeed."
W. Morrisey, Choice
"The Foundations of Modern Terrorism is a thoughtful and compelling contribution to a body of literature so extensively researched and rehashed that it is often tough to find anything new … the book makes a telling contribution."
Thomas Colley, Strife
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- Date Published: November 2012
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107621084
- length: 306 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.41kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Writing the history of terrorism
2. The origins of political violence in the pre-modern era
3. Trajectories of terrorism in the transition to modernity
4. Nineteenth-century Russian revolutionary and tsarist terrorisms
5. European nation-state terrorism and its antagonists, at home and abroad, 1848–1914
6. Terrorism in a democracy: the United States
7. Communist and Fascist authoritarian terror
8. Global ideological terror during the Cold War
9. Toward the present: terrorism in theory and practice.
Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses
- Terrorism: Roots and Responses
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