Friday, July 21, 2006

More recommended books on terrorism

Peter Bergen, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of The Osama bin Laden I Know, and Warren Bass, a former 9/11 Commission staffer, recently rounded up the best of the recent flood of books on terrorism.

They found many commendable books; click here to read their review essay.

One of their recommendations is The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, two former counterterrorism officials. The book argues, according to Berger and Bass, that
the U.S. war in Iraq has not dried up the swamp that produces jihadists but deepened it--giving al-Qaeda time to reinvent itself as a more loose-knit network while boosting its ideological appeal to Muslims smarting with resentment. The authors are also scathing on U.S. efforts to defend the home front against catastrophic attack; if these sections seem dated, it's largely because Hurricane Katrina proved their point all too well.
One contemporary classic they recommend:
Bruce Hoffman, the director of RAND's Washington office, has produced a thoroughly updated, post-9/11 edition of his brilliant Inside Terrorism (Columbia Univ.; paperback, $22.95), which remains probably the best one-volume introduction to the phenomenon.
An earlier item on the blog highlighted David Pryce-Jones' top picks on terrorism; click here to read those recommendations.

--Marshal Zeringue