ABC-CLIO

Death Orders

The Vanguard of Modern Terrorism in Revolutionary Russia

by Anna Geifman

Print Flyer
Abortion in the United States

May 2010

Praeger

Pages 229
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/Terrorism
Description

This fascinating study shows how terrorism as developed and practiced in Romanov Russia has, over the past century, manifested itself as the template for modern and postmodern terrorism as a universal sociocultural, psychological, and existential experience, irrespective of particular political causes, ethnic distinctions, and ideological boundaries.

Arguing that Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism, Death Orders: The Vanguard of Modern Terrorism in Revolutionary Russia uses the nation as a case study of psycho-historical patterns of worldwide terrorist activity during the past century. Key features of early-20th century Russian political extremism serve as models for terrorist experiences in other periods and regions as author Anna Geifman builds a typology of a universal phenomenon.

The book shows how, in Russia and elsewhere, terrorists’ objectives have degenerated from punishment of individual adversaries and attempts to intimidate political elites to indiscriminate acts of political violence. It shifts attention from ideology to practices that had been previously hidden, ignored, or rationalized, demonstrating that what terrorists say about their motives may not be what actually drives them to brutality. By looking closely at Russian precedents for the general experience of modern political violence, the book helps illuminate many obscure aspects of terrorism today.

Features

  • Offers data based on extensive archival and primary research
  • Includes citations from numerous original sources found in Russian, American, European, and Israeli depositories
  • Provides a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources

Highlights

  • Is the first book to seek to establish a typology of terrorist activity over the past 100 years based on a one-country model, analyzed as a representative case study
  • Shows that terrorists’ motives are not always consistent with their political ideologies and that the one thing all modern terrorists seem to have in common is a love of death
  • Features a unique intercultural and interdisciplinary psycho-historical approach to the understanding of modern terrorism
  • Examines precedents comparatively, allowing for the first scholarly speculation about patterns of terrorists’ behavior as state leaders
Author Info

Anna Geifman, PhD, is professor of history at Boston University and research associate at the University of Bar-Ilan, Israel. She is the author of Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia, 1894-1917, Entangled in Terror: The Azef Affair and the Russian Revolution, and La mort sera votre Dieu: Du nihilisme russe au terrorisme islamiste.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"...a striking counterweight to today's dominant scholarly understanding of terrorism as a rational act. Her argument is exhaustively documented, and Geifman writes with clarity and verve..."
—Choice

Endorsements

"This is a wide-ranging insight into terrorism, the bane of modern life. It analyzes the psychology of terrorists in Russia, where this scourge began, as well as Palestine, Chechnia and elsewhere to bring out the common mind-sets of people perpetrating this kind of criminal activity. As such it is of great value to anyone concerned with the massive and often indiscriminate assaults on human life that have become a feature of modern life."—Richard Pipes, Baird Professor of History, Harvard University

"Anna Geifman’s most recent book is a must read for anybody seeking to decipher the psyche of today’s international terrorists. Approaching the issue from a psychohistorical perspective, Professor Geifman traces the historical ascension of terrorism from 20th Century Russia to modern day Israel, drawing fascinating parallels along the way. Through an in-depth analysis, Professor Geifman shows that the Russian extremists of days past are to a large extent the forefathers of today’s Islamic fanatics."—Steven Emerson, Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Amongst Us, and producer of the documentary “Jihad in America”

Other Titles of Interest

Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America cover imageTerrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Weapons of Mass Destruction cover imagePerspectives on 9/11 cover image
The Combined Action Platoons cover imageRivalry in Eurasia cover imageEco-Warriors, Nihilistic Terrorists, and the Environment cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year

Format










Imprint

Need Help? Try our Search Tips