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Terrorism: A History, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-7456-9089-6
378 pages
September 2016, Polity
Terrorism: A History, 2nd Edition (0745690890) cover image


We live in an era dominated by terrorism but struggle to understand its meaning and the real nature of the threat. In this new edition of his widely acclaimed survey of the topic, Randall Law makes sense of the history of terrorism by examining it within its broad political, religious and social contexts and tracing its development from the ancient world to the 21st century. In Terrorism: A History, Law reveals how the very definition of the word has changed, how the tactics and strategies of terrorism have evolved, and how those who have used it adapted to revolutions in technology, communications, and political ideologies.

Terrorism: A History extensively covers such topics as jihadist violence, state terror, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Northern Ireland, anarcho-terrorism, and the Ku Klux Klan, plus lesser known movements in Uruguay and Algeria, as well as the pre-modern uses of terror in ancient Rome, medieval Europe, and the French Revolution.

This thoroughly revised edition features up-to-date analysis of:
· Al-Qaeda’s affiliates and the “franchising” of jihadism
· “Lone wolf” violence in the United States and Europe
· Sri Lanka’s victory over the Tamil Tigers

Other features include updated and expanded bibliographies in each chapter, more scholarly citations, and a new conclusion, making Terrorism: A History the go-to book for those wishing to understand the real nature and importance of this ubiquitous phenomenon.
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Table of Contents

1 Terror and Tyrannicide in the Ancient World
2 Terror and Tyrannicide in the Middle Ages
3 Terror and Tyrannicide in the Early Modern Era in Europe
4 The Dawn of Revolutionary Terrorism
5 Russian Revolutionary Terrorism
6 The Era of the European Attentat
7 Labor, Anarchy, and Terror in America
8 White Supremacy and American Racial Terrorism
9 The Dawn of Ethno-Nationalist Terrorism
10 The Era of State Terror
11 Decolonization and Ethno-Nationalist Terrorism from the 1930s to the Early 1960s
12 Decolonization and Ethno-Nationalist Terrorism from the Late 1960s to the Present
13 The Era of Leftist and International Terrorism
14 The Rise of Jihadist Terrorism
15 Recent Non-Jihadist Terrorism
16 9/11, the War on Terror, and Recent Trends in Terrorism

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Author Information

Randall D. Law is Associate Professor of History at Birmingham-Southern College.
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New to This Edition

·Covers Al-Qaeda s affiliates and the franchising of jihadism
·Covers lone wolf violence in the United States and Europe
·Covers Sri Lanka s victory over the Tamil Tigers
·Updated and expanded bibliographies in each chapter
·Hundreds of new scholarly citations
·A new conclusion
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"Exceptionally rich and sophisticated in analysis, Randal Law's much needed updated edition of Terrorism: A History is a welcome addition to the currently available literature and deserves to be read not only by students and academic specialists but also by security analysts, policy makers and general readers".
Professor George Kassimeris, University of Wolverhampton

Terrorism continues to evolve, not erode. Professor Law, in this second edition, continues his examination of this evolution up through ISIS and other contemporary violent actors and provides additional insights to increase your understanding of terrorism today. His book remains the one to read for anyone seeking to understand terrorism, its history, and the thinking and motivation of those who practice it.
Ed Rowe, Colonel, US Army (Ret.); Office of the Secretary of Defense Staff (Ret.)

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