The 50 Worst Terrorist Attacks
by Edward F. Mickolus and Susan L. Simmons
August 2014, 264pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2827-0
$77, £60, 67€, A106
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2828-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Osama bin Laden is only one of the many major terrorist leaders and operatives in the last half century.

In the last 50 years, terrorists have committed hundreds of horrific acts of violence to further their causes. This accessible, single-volume text covers the most significant terrorist acts across contemporary history worldwide.

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, terrorism has remained the chief threat to international stability and security. The 50 Worst Terrorist Attacks draws on all forms of terrorism—international, transnational, and domestic—anywhere in the world, covering all types of acts (e.g., bombings, assassinations, armed attacks, skyjackings) by any organization and ideology. The work goes beyond documenting the key events that occurred in or involved the United States; it also covers important terrorist attacks by left- and right-wing organizations, religiously motivated groups, and separatists that are largely unknown among Western audiences.

Each entry supplies the details of the attack—the perpetrators, victims, and eventual resolution—as well as the political, social, and international contexts in which the event occurred. Readers will grasp the evolution of terrorist activities and methodologies in the 20th and 21st centuries, understand the importance of each event in the development of the terrorist repertoire, and gauge the responses intended to counter these new kinds of attacks.


  • Provides a chronological treatment of all major terrorist attacks in the last 50 years worldwide, enabling readers to grasp how terrorist acts have changed over time
  • Clearly explains the importance of each attack in terms of how the event spawned new types of attacks or targets, elicited new government responses, resulted in increased media coverage, or otherwise served as a turning point in the history of terrorism
  • Provides a readable review of representative attacks that illustrates the differences in terrorists' thinking, goals, milieu and reach, and attack styles; and the differences in responses and their effectiveness
  • Documents terrorists' targeting of U.S. citizens and interests in the United States and abroad
  • Reflects the economic impact of increasing security measures in response to terrorist attacks and threats, both at home and internationally
Edward F. Mickolus, PhD, served in analytical, operational, management, and staff positions in the Central Intelligence Agency for 33 years, where he was the CIA's first full-time analyst on international terrorism. Mickolus has analyzed African political, economic, social, military, and leadership issues; written political-psychological assessments of world leaders; and managed collection, counterintelligence, and covert action programs against terrorists, drug traffickers, weapons proliferators, and hostile espionage services. He is founder and president of Vinyard Software, Inc. His 23 books include a series of multivolume chronologies and annotated bibliographies on international terrorism.

Susan L. Simmons, MA, is an independent writer, editor, strategist, and writing coach. For more than 20 years she has worked with faculty to publish and achieve tenure; assisted graduate students in completing dissertations; helped new fiction and popular nonfiction writers complete manuscripts, prepare proposals, and find venues and agents; worked with businesses to prepare sensitive letters and documents; and consulted with venture capital firms to provide research and opinion papers. Her published work in the field of international terrorism includes Praeger's Terrorism, 2002–2004: A Chronology and The Terrorist List, both of which she coauthored with Edward F. Mickolus. She specializes in the fields of international relations, history and art history, education, politics, English literature, psychology, and business. Simmons holds a master's degree in English literature from the University of Minnesota.


"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers."—Choice, January 1, 2015

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