Terrorism: Strategies for Intervention. Edited by Harold V. Hall; published by The Haworth Press, 800/429-6784 (phone), www.HaworthPress.com (Web); 113 pages; $17.95.
Scholarly books are dry--it's almost inevitable. Luckily, this book, a compilation of articles on terrorism intervention strategies, is an exception. Though erudite, the book is captivating and easy to read, offering something for almost anyone with an interest in terrorism or in preparing for mitigation and emergency response. By placing problems, issues, and incidents in a highly relational situational context, it promotes reader understanding.
The 113-page book is presented in five chapters/articles; some articles are written by a single author, and others by multiple contributors. Each author possesses substantial credentials in his or her fields of expertise. Chapters cover the psychological study of terrorism, terrorism as group violence, chemical and biological violence, crisis negotiation, and ethical concerns. Nearly every section contains attention-grabbing points, such as a discussion on whether terrorists would truly use weapons of mass destruction. The writing forces security professionals to rethink what have become accepted and unquestioned truisms, and it offers fresh approaches.
Each chapter begins by listing the authors and their credentials, followed by a summary of the article. Then comes the primary narrative, which contains in-text footnotes. Extensive bibliographic references round out each chapter. Well-placed tables graphically illustrate highlighted points and quantitative data.
Anyone teaching or studying terrorism at the graduate or undergraduate level should get this book. As a course textbook, it would stimulate many interesting discussions and project ideas. It will also appeal to security and law enforcement professionals. Although the book offers no definitive answers to terrorism, it presents effective strategies to motivate further thinking about what actions might yield effective resolutions.
Reviewer: Paul D. Barnard, M.S., CPP, CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), is a security manager for the Department of Defense. He is a member of ASIS International. The opinion expressed is solely that of the reviewer, and it does not imply a view of the U.S. government or any other organization.