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Why terrorism works : understanding the threat, responding to the challenge / Alan M. Dershowitz.

By: Dershowitz, Alan M.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2002Description: 271 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0300097662 (alk. paper); 9780300097665 (alk. paper); 0300101538; 9780300101539.Subject(s): Terrorism | Terrorism -- PreventionDDC classification: 303.6/25 Other classification: 89.58
Contents:
Deterring terrorism -- The internationalization of terrorism : how our European allies made September 11 inevitable -- How an amoral society could fight terrorism -- Should the ticking bomb terrorist be tortured? : a case study in how a democracy should make tragic choices -- Striking the right balance -- Are we overreacting?
Summary: The greatest danger facing the world today, says Alan M. Dershowitz, comes from religiously inspired, state sponsored terrorist groups that seek to develop weapons of mass destruction for use against civilian targets. In this book Dershowitz argues passionately and persuasively that global terrorism is a phenomenon largely of our own making and that we must and can take steps to reduce the frequency and severity of terrorist acts. Analyzing recent acts of terrorism and our reaction to them, Dershowitz explains that terrorism is successful when the international community gives in to the demands of terrorists, or even tries to understand and eliminate the "root causes" of terrorism. He discusses extreme approaches to wiping out international terrorism that would work if we were not constrained by legal, moral, and humanitarian considerations. And then, given that we do operate under such constraints, he offers a series of proposals that would effectively reduce the frequency and severity of international terrorism by striking a balance between security and liberty.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV6431 .D473 2002 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001791813

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Deterring terrorism -- The internationalization of terrorism : how our European allies made September 11 inevitable -- How an amoral society could fight terrorism -- Should the ticking bomb terrorist be tortured? : a case study in how a democracy should make tragic choices -- Striking the right balance -- Are we overreacting?

The greatest danger facing the world today, says Alan M. Dershowitz, comes from religiously inspired, state sponsored terrorist groups that seek to develop weapons of mass destruction for use against civilian targets. In this book Dershowitz argues passionately and persuasively that global terrorism is a phenomenon largely of our own making and that we must and can take steps to reduce the frequency and severity of terrorist acts. Analyzing recent acts of terrorism and our reaction to them, Dershowitz explains that terrorism is successful when the international community gives in to the demands of terrorists, or even tries to understand and eliminate the "root causes" of terrorism. He discusses extreme approaches to wiping out international terrorism that would work if we were not constrained by legal, moral, and humanitarian considerations. And then, given that we do operate under such constraints, he offers a series of proposals that would effectively reduce the frequency and severity of international terrorism by striking a balance between security and liberty.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

You can love him or hate him, but Dershowitz (Harvard Law Sch.) is always worth reading. In this bracing work, he gently upbraids those who chalked up the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington to the supposed "root causes" of terrorism-namely, repression and desperation arising from poverty-while also chiding those he thinks are insufficiently committed to civil liberties. Dershowitz points out that the dispossessed in general "do not resort to the willful targeting of vulnerable civilians." Rather, militants resort to such tactics because the international community, and sometimes even the U.S. government, have rewarded them; terrorism will persist as long as it works. Dershowitz points out the scorched-earth tactics that could be used by authoritarian governments to defeat terrorism: torture, massive retaliation, complete control of citizens' movements. He concludes that nations bound by moral concerns can still respond effectively, reconciling forceful strategy with a regard for civil liberties that would include legal checks on the government use of military trials, wire tapping, and other antiterrorist tactics. Strongly recommended.-James R. Holmes, Ph.D. candidate, Fletcher Sch. of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

As always, Dershowitz is provocative and controversial. His examination of terrorism begins with a simple premise: the world's response to the modern era of terrorist attacks has encouraged rather than deterred or punished terrorists. The result is that terrorism has been a successful political strategy for nations and organizations. Dershowitz bases this argument mostly on the way in which Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorism led the international community to accept the legitimacy of the PLO's cause and confer statesman status on its leader, Yasser Arafat. The author argues forcefully that the current war against terrorism will never be won until terrorists are condemned unconditionally by all world leaders. The use of torture as a method to prevent terrorist acts is the second theme of the book. In an attempt to generate a debate on the subject, Dershowitz makes the case for and against torture as a legitimate tool of counterterrorism. Given how emphatic he is about other issues, his unwillingness to state a firm position is disappointing. As a popular examination of the issues, the book is a welcome and useful addition to a growing body of literature. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers and lower- and upper-division undergraduates. W. W. Newmann Virginia Commonwealth University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Attorney and bestselling author Alan M. Dershowitz was first in his class at Yale Law School. <p> Dershowitz was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and the youngest full professor in the history of Harvard Law School. He is currently the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University. He has served on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. Dershowitz has represented many controversial clients, including O. J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson, Leona Helmsley and Patricia Hearst. <p> His books include Reasonable Doubt (about the O. J. Simpson trial) and Sexual McCarthyism: Clinton, Starr, and the Emerging Constitutional Crisis. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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