"A must read for everyone."—Journal of American HistorySelected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title
"There is little or no work like this available to scholars, teachers, and citizens at a time when an informed public should be engaged in a thoughtful discourse on this matter."—Donna M. Schlagheck, author of International Terrorism: An Introduction to Concepts and Actors
"In a clear, methodical, and conscientiously neutral way, Ensalaco documents the political history of the rise of terrorism in the Middle East. . . . Essential for anyone beginning a study of Middle Eastern terrorism, or as a historical reference."—Choice
Since the first airplane hijacking by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in September 1970, Middle Eastern terrorists have sacrificed innocent human lives in the name of ideology. From Black September to the Munich Olympics, to the embassy bombing in Beirut, to the devastating attacks of September 11 and beyond, terrorism has emerged as the most important security concern of our time.
"Where did this come from?" Inspired by a student's question on the morning of September 11, 2001, Mark Ensalaco has written a thoroughly researched narrative account of the origins of Middle Eastern terrorism, addressing when and why terrorists started targeting Americans and American interests and what led to the September 11 attacks.
Ensalaco reveals the changing of motivations from secular Palestinian nationalism to militant Islam and demonstrates how competition among terrorists for resources and notoriety has driven them to increasingly extreme tactics. As he argues, terrorist attacks grew from spectacle to atrocity. Drawing on popular works and scholarly sources, Middle Eastern Terrorism tells this story in rich detail and with great clarity and insight.
Mark Ensalaco is Raymond A. Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences at the University of Dayton. CNN Headline News, Reuters, and the Associated Press, among others, have interviewed Ensalaco about terrorism. He is the author of several books, including Chile Under Pinochet: Recovering the Truth, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.