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My Life is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing

Price : $32.50
ISBN # : 9788170492320
Author : Christoph Reuter
pages: 208
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Manas Publications
Published : 2005

In many cases, these modern day martyrs are well educated young adults who turned themselves into human bombs ready to exact revenge on a powerful enemy. In this book, the author argues that popular views of suicide bombers -- ascrazed fanatics or brainwashed automatons -- fall short of the mark. In manycases these modern-day martyrs are well-educated young adults who are motivatedmore by how they expect to be remembered -- as heroic figures -- than byreligion-infused visions of a blissful life to come.

Author Bio: Christoph Reuter is a reporter and international correspondent for the German magazine "Stern".

Review 1: We are as yet a long way from fully understanding the various manifestations of suicide terrorism and its motives, but My Life Is a Weapon is an important contribution. Reuter has traveled for years through Arab countries, the Middle East and Central Asia and is able to talk more or less freely to people and read texts usually not accessible to the average foreign correspondent. His account of suicide terrorism is, to the best of my knowledge, the first (of its kind) in any language.
(Walter Laqueur Times Literary Supplement )

Against the violent Manichean rhetoric of the times, and its brute interventionism, Reuter offers a counter-narrative: suicide attacks in Israel-Palestine will stop when Israel withdraws from the Occupied Territories; more generally across the region, the West should keep out.
(Jacqueline Rose London Review of Books )

This is a journalist's history . . . with solid exposition, sharp observations and flashes of insight. . . . For instance, in invading and occupying Iraq, he maintains, the Bush administration is playing into the hands of terrorists like Osama bin Laden, creating exactly the context of humiliation that provides new recruits.
(William S. Kowinski San Francisco Chronicle )

[A] well-researched history of suicide attacks, which touches on the 12th century Assassins but concentrates on today. . . . Suicide attackers can be educated and uneducated; religious and secular; comfortably off and destitute: their link is the decision they make to transform their powerlessness into extraordinary power.
(The Economist )

Christoph Reuter . . . interviewed as many families of suicide bombers as he could find, canvassed their countries of origin for insights, and has compiled the results in a short, readable book. The windows Mr. Reuter makes into suicide terrorists' family lives . . . show how lamentable is the ethos of chauvinism and pride that supports suicide terrorism. But they also show how fragile and contrived that support can sometimes be.
(Brendan Conway New York Sun )

[Reuter] integrate[s] impressive research with personal interviews and experiences that give the material immediacy and emotional force. . . . [H]is message is an important one, and it is this: the myths that poverty, or deprivation, or humiliation, or paradisiacal virgins or religious zealotry or hopelessness or plain ignorance are ultimately driving suicide attacks are 'simply wrong'. . . .. What is driving the spread and intensification of such attacks, he suggests, is a record of apparent success in attaining strategic objectives from 1980 to 2000, even if such success was bought at a horrible cost.
(Avery Plaw Montreal Gazette )

Everyone frustrated by the spread of suicide bombing as an extension of politics by other means would be wise to read and dwell on My Life is a Weapon. . . . Reuter's book offers rich data for mulling the topic.
(Carlin Romano Philadelphia Inquirer )

This insightful, sensitively written book deserves a wide audience.
(Jane Adas Christian Century )

Likely to become the standard text on the subject.
( )

Fine first-hand reporting is combined with a sensitive effort to explain.
(Foreign Affairs ) Source: Washington Post Book World

Review 2: Christoph Reuter's modern history of suicide bombing helps put today's headlines into context. As Reuter's assessment makes clear, suicide killers are not irrational fanatics, but cost-effective weapons employed by rational organizations. Reuter traveled around the world to talk with 'martyr's' families and their tutors, reporting what he found in lucid, often moving prose. The world would be a far safer place if our leaders were to heed his wise words of advice.
Source: essica Stern, author of "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Tuesday 12 July, 2011.

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