Talking Terrorism
A Dictionary of the Loaded Language of Political Violence
by Philip Herbst
August 2003, 240pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32486-4
$73, £57, 64€, A100
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-07216-1
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An A-to-Z look at how words are used as weapons by politicians, terrorists, revolutionaries, journalists, and individuals.

Anarchist, freedom fighter, fundamentalist, terrorist. These words are thrown about today with seeming abandon. But each of these terms, and hundreds like them, have connotations and denotations charged with meanings which can be used strategically by politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens. ^ITalking Terrorism^R defines, traces, and explains the loaded, controversial, confusing, and shifting language that surrounds terrorist activity. The dictionary comprises words used to characterize individuals, groups, or countries that commit or support acts of political violence. Also covered is the closely related language that conveys the justifications and agendas of those responding to violence, including these groups’ self-characterizations, which might entail the masking of a multitude of sins. In addition, the ways terrorists use language to smear enemies, recruit and inspire group members, and communicate the righteousness of their causes are examined.

Following an A-to-Z format, ^ITalking Terrorism^R identifies and defines terms in dictionary style, then explores the charged meanings of the words, and often supplies examples of the words’ usage. Cross-references will lead readers to related words and show the complicated web of words used in this verbal warfare. In the words and verbal maneuvers discussed in the dictionary, readers will see how enemies are manufactured through demonization, biased media coverage and government spin in action, and brutality legitimized as virtue, along with the besmirching of its victims. Much of what readers will find may not seem encouraging, yet ^ITalking Terrorism^R will open the eyes and ears of anyone who wants to come to grips with today’s tumultuous political world.

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