Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Front Cover
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006 - Political Science - 353 pages
Includes a new Afterword

Finalist for the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award

One of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of suicide terrorism, the esteemed political scientist Robert Pape has created the first comprehensive database of every suicide terrorist attack in the world from 1980 until today. In Dying to Win, Pape provides a groundbreaking demographic profile of modern suicide terrorist attackers–and his findings offer a powerful counterpoint to what we now accept as conventional wisdom on the topic. He also examines the early practitioners of this guerrilla tactic, including the ancient Jewish Zealots, who in A.D. 66 wished to liberate themselves from Roman occupation; the Ismaili Assassins, a Shi’ite Muslim sect in northern Iran in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; World War II’s Japanese kamikaze pilots, three thousand of whom crashed into U.S. naval vessels; and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a secular, Marxist-Leninist organization responsible for more suicide terrorist attacks than any other group in history.

Dying to Win is a startling work of analysis grounded in fact, not politics, that recommends concrete ways for states to fight and prevent terrorist attacks now. Transcending speculation with systematic scholarship, this is one of the most important studies of the terrorist threat to the United States and its allies since 9/11.

“Invaluable . . . gives Americans an urgently needed basis for devising a strategy to defeat Osama bin Laden and other Islamist militants.”
–Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris

“Provocative . . . Pape wants to change the way you think about suicide bombings and explain why they are on the rise.”
–Henry Schuster, CNN.com

“Enlightening . . . sheds interesting light on a phenomenon often mistakenly believed to be restricted to the Middle East.”
–The Washington Post Book World

“Brilliant.”
–Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

Looks primarily at suicide terrorism from perspective of group strategy. Although he does touch on individual motivations somewhat, it is still through the prism of group dynamics rather than personal ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This book examines the known facts about suicide terrorism, using data about suicide bombers ages, social class, education and motivation. Pape offers convincing evidence that suicide bombers are not ... Read full review

Contents

The Growing Threat
3
THE STRATEGIC LOGIC OF SUICIDE TERRORISM
25
CONCLUSION
39
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Robert A. Pape is professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he teaches international politics and is the director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism. A distinguished scholar of national security affairs, he writes widely on coercive airpower, economic sanctions, international moral action, and the politics of unipolarity and has taught international relations at Dartmouth College and air strategy for the U.S. Air Force's School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is a contributor to The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, and The Washington Post and has appeared on ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight, National Public Radio, and other national television and radio programs.

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