this book was definitely very academic and interesting.....this is a very detailed read and very thought out.....the author really made me think and terrified me at the same time
This is a very in-depth, comprehensive book about the subject of terrorism. EVERYTHING about terrorism from how its supposed early beginnings, well known sects, and why it is still a real threat in the world. Horgan's well-researched account reads more like a textbook, and at some points gets very technical, but this is a great place to learn more a terrifying issue. It is still a real issue in the United States and globally.
Thanks to Netgalley, John Horgan and Columbia University Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A good insight on the psychology of terrorism. Quite scholarly, but if you're used to reading academic texts, it's easy to read. Well researched with many examples. It's ofcourse a rough read, especially with the examples in the beginning I had to put it away a few times. Interesting!
John Horgan writes in the beginning of this book that this is for the lay reader rather than the academic. I think that, while he clearly wrote with that intension, his book struggles a bit both in that it is not academic enough yet too academic.
This book is written as an overview of many studies in the area of the psychology of terrorism. However, I was often feeling like there was not enough information to support what Horgan was saying. While the book is heavily cited, he wrote about the general findings of studies in a way that made it seem as if they were more generalized statements. I was wanting more - and then I remembered that the book was not written to be that academic. But when I looked at it from a layperson point of view, it still felt insufficient. I think what Horgan struggles with is the fact that so many of the answers he is trying to reach are merely, "it depends." You cannot have a distinct answer to why one person becomes a terrorist and why another doesn't, because it is too complex. The academic area of the book shone because academia is meant to hold space for nuances.
In general, if you want to just read about a profile of what makes someone a terrorist, you're not going to get it in this book. Not because the book is poorly written, but just because that topic is too simple for an easy book to be written about.
Thank you to Columbia University Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This book is an overview of studies about terrorism. Author John Horgan gives brief summaries of numerous studies on terrorist groups and lone terrorist actors and discusses the limitations of what these studies can tell us. This might be most valuable to academics and researchers, but the general reader may find the content a bid tedious.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Wow, this book was an impressive work of academic scholarship! I cannot imagine how much time it took to do the research to write this. John Horgan is a distinguished psychology professor, who is very well versed in the psychology and deradicalization aspects of terrorism. I would love to sit in on one of his classes one day!
I loved this book, because I learned from it. I am a nerd plain and simple, and I love eating up all the psychology facts my brain can handle. If you are writing an academic paper or pursuing a criminal justice degree (etc.), then this book will be an incredible resource for you to utilize in your research. Anyone interested in psychology, sociology, or even true crime, will also enjoy this read. I learned about the different subtypes of terrorism and the roles people play within it. The flow of the book keeps things moving along by providing examples of terrorism from the incel community and famous organizations such as QANON. The book distinguishes between what is and is not terrorism, which may surprise the reader!
This is one of those books that you will want to tab or highlight in. I will be purchasing the hard copy when it comes out, so that I can put tabs in it and refer back to it when I want to. Do you want to feel like a member of Criminal Minds who is "in the know" about what truly constitutes as a terrorist threat and how terrorists become the people they are? Terrorist Minds will scratch that itch for you! Anyone who is into social sciences will want this book on their shelf.
Thank you so much to the author, to NetGalley, and to the publishers at Columbia University Press for sending this to me! My only question to Mr. Horgan is... When does your next book come out??
This book first raises a key issue that I think other work misses: the debate over extremism vs terrorism. In grappling with that question, the author asks when is there a threat, and how does one know? And how do we as a society deal with the multiple definitions of terrorism?
All of these questions are issues that others address in their own unique way. Pick up any book on terrorism and it begins with a definition, but Horgan takes it a step further: there is an issue when no one can agree on the same definition, or the characteristics, therefore, of what a terrorist is.
Furthermore, it is hard to make a demographic profile of a terrorist, because there is no true defining profile of who that person is. As the book makes clear, "context is everything." This is unsettling; we so often want ideas and profiles to fit nicely within a box of set parameters. But, in something that is ever-changing and dependent on context, it is hard to do. In trying to make ourselves safe after the previous attack, in other words, we may be making ourselves vulnerable to the next attack, and don't recognize it until we have to adjust the paradigm of terror.
I found it fascinating, but also very important, in how the author makes the argument that we have often incorrectly made determinations about motivation and dehumanization. He then goes through the six stages taken to capture the minds of young people. These are interesting points, as are his explanation on recidivism.
In the end, Horgan admits that research on terrorism is hard to do. It feels like few admit that, but many authors imply it by the depth of complexity associated with the topic.
Ultimately, this book is not just about terrorism itself, it is a meta-analysis of terrorism studies. I hope that Horgan will make readers think more about the implications of his work, that is, how can we be more aware, and then make adjustments, to our knowledge. It might save lives
Not exactly what I was expecting but still very informative about what is actually considered terrorism and what can cause individuals to commit acts of terror. Written more like a professional paper than what I usually read but I was able to get through it easily and still learn something.