Cover image for Understanding terrorism in America : from the Klan to al Qaeda
Understanding terrorism in America : from the Klan to al Qaeda
Hewitt, Christopher.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 2003.
Physical Description:
xvii, 154 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Reading Level:
1480 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6432 .H48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Christopher Hewitt's comprehensive book surveys the characteristics and causes of terrorism and governmental responses to it. He also examines the organizational structure of terrorist networks, how they are financed and their ideological agendas. Groups covered include: Islamic fundamentalists, white and black racists, black nationalists, revolutionary communists, neo-Nazis, militant Jewish groups, anti-abortionists and émigré groups. This book is essential reading for students of American politics and terrorism. It also provides a highly readable account for interested readers wishing to know more about a topic which has recently become tragically relevant to world affairs.

Author Notes

Christopher Hewitt is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA.

Table of Contents

Part I The Latest Atrocity
1 Social and economic impacts
2 the public moods
3 the political response
4 the media: interpreting the atrocity
Part II Before September 11th: American Terrorism since the 1950s
5 Definitions and datasets
6 Patterns of terrorism in the United States
7 Explaining American terrorism
Part III The Political Context of American Terrorism
8 Excluded opinions and extremist violence
9 Encouraging extremist violence
10 White racist terrorism in the South
11 Black terrorism
12 Revolutionary leftist terrorism
13 Puerto Rican terrorism
14 the Jewish Defence League and terrorism
15 Cuban emigre terrorism
16 Anti-abortion terrorism
17 Far right terrorism
18 Islamic fundamentalist terrorism
19 Discussion
Part IV The Organisational Dynamics of Terrorism
20 Social movements and the emergence of terrorism
21 the organization of terrorism
22 Terrorism by members of extremist organizations
23 Terrorism by terrorist groups
24 Organizational ideologies and terrorist campaigns
25 Organizational need and factional feuds
Part V The Terrorists
26 the sociodemographics of American terrorists
27 Psychological factors
28 Becoming a militant
29 Loners and crazies
Part VI Dealing with Terrorists
30 Killing terrorists
31 Surveillance, harrassment and arrests
32 How terrorists are caught
33 Terrorists in the criminal justice system
34 Stepping over the line
35 Measuring the effect of counter-terrorist measures
Part VII Impacts and Consequences
36 the economic costs of terrorism
37 Changes in social behaviour and public opinion resulting from terrorism
38 Media coverage
39 Terrorism as a political issue
40 Counterterrorism policies and the outcomes of terrorism
Part VIII The Future of Terrorism in America
41 the threat from Islamic terrorism
42 the threat from the far-right and anti-abortion terrorism
43 Counterterrorism policies: some modest proposals