Blood and Rage

Blood and Rage

A Cultural History of Terrorism

By Michael Burleigh

Harper, Hardcover, 9780061173851, 592pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2009


Blood and Rage is a sweeping and deeply penetrating work of history that explores the nature of terrorism from its origins in the West to today's global threat fueled by fundamentalists. Distinguished historian Michael Burleigh ("There are few better writers at work today" The Sunday Times) emphasizes the lethal resentments and the twisted morality that spawn terrorism rather than the ideological or religious justification that routinely accompanies it. He reveals who the terrorist groups are, how they organize and operate, what motivates their violence, and how wider support encourages them.

Burleigh takes us from the roots of terrorism in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Russian Nihilists, and the London-based anarchists of Black International to the various terrorist campaigns that exist today. He also explores the lives of people engaged in careers of political violence and those who are most affected by terrorism.

Burleigh argues persuasively that history enables us to see how terrorism can be effectively contained and countered by avoiding the major mistakes of the past and by exploiting weaknesses within terrorist organizations. The problems in today's world, as well especially the chaos inflicted by terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan reflect the tragic, disastrous, and far-reaching consequences of this long war.

Authoritative, illuminating, and masterfully written, Blood and Rage sheds an unflinching light on the global threat that we are likely to face for decades to come.