From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. An "explanation of the unexplainable," this lucid and comprehensive study of the historical roots and contemporary motivations of suicide terror is a major study. Bloom's historical range is formidable; the first eight chapters are a marvel of historical compression, moving from the Zealots of first-century Judea to the Japanese kamikaze of WWII within a few bleak but instructive pages. Bloom stresses that suicide bombings can only thrive with the implied consent of an aggrieved population, which can be withdrawn: the Omagh bombing of 1998, for example, was a disaster for the IRA. Over and over again—from Chechnya to the West Bank—history teaches that harsh counterterror tactics become part of the cycle, or, as University of Cincinnati political scientist Bloom terms it, part of the contagion of violence. She sees hopeful signs in Turkey's recent measured and partially successful response to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The book also includes a fascinating chapter on suicide terror as practiced by women, especially in Chechnya and Sri Lanka, and how it is viewed, ironically, as a source of female empowerment. The last chapter is a clear-eyed consideration of the possible occurrence of suicide bombing on U.S. territory. A generous appendix contains charts and usefully annotated list of sources. (June)
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This lucid and comprehensive study of the historical roots and contemporary motivations of suicide terror is a major study. Publishers Weekly 5/9/05 Ms. Bloom...who has done extensive field research...[is] able to present a more nuanced and better informed analysis of suicide terror. -- Joshua Sinai Washington Times 6/19/05 [Bloom] sheds interesting light on a phenomenon often mistakenly believed to be restricted to the Middle East. Washington Post Book World 7/24/05 An insightful investigation into the internal workings of terrorist groups. -- Karl Helicher ForeWord Sept. / Oct. Pertinent for western countries... It's a great introduction for students and those wishing to know more about the complex motivations of suicide bombers. -- Katherine Boothroyd Altar Magazine 9/19/05 Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups. -- Peter Pham The National Interest 9/7/05 The book is both well written and very informative... In troubled times such as these the book is worth reading. -- Stefan Isaksson UFO.SE 11/23/05 A detailed study of suicide terror. -- Ira Smolensky Salem Press 2006 [Bloom] makes a convincing case. -- Mayer Nudell Security Management 2/2006 Bloom offers valuable insights into the rational calculus of terrorist groups. -- J. Peter Pham Current 12/1/2005 A welcome addition to a rapidly growing field of research. -- Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca Political Science Quarterly Spring 2006 Dying to Kill leaves us with a better understanding of the effects of oppression on populations, and the rationale behind the adoption of suicide bombing as a strategy by both groups and individuals. -- Aharon Horowitz Azure Summer 2006 Anyone who wishes to really attempt to understand the history and motivations, Mia Bloom's tome is the way to go. American Jewish Life Vol. 7 Issue 5