This section includes book notes of 150-300 words as well as some book reviews of 600-900 words on books of particular interest to the members of our group. If you have either suggestions for books you would like to review or see reviewed (including recent books of your own), please contact Nigel Copsey of the University of Teesside (UK).
Book Notes Christopher Hewitt, Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005, 224 pp., USD 75.00, ISBN: 0-31333418-8 (hbk). Reviewed by Erica Chenoweth (University of Colorado at Boulder) Professor Hewitt makes a contribution to terrorism studies through his chronology of over 3,000 terrorist events in the United States and Puerto Rico from 1954 through early 2004. He derived this chronology while pursuing a simultaneous research project, which culminated in his book Understanding Terrorism in America: From the Klan to Al Qaeda (2003). Hewitt has compiled the list of terrorist incidents in the U.S. by consulting a number of published sources, ranging from conflict databases to newspaper headlines. Hewitt claims that there are three types of terrorism in the United States: international terrorism, émigré terrorism, and domestic terrorism. The most active groups in the United States have been right-wing groups, which have been responsible for 26.7% of the events described in his chronology. Leftist revolutionary groups follow close behind, claiming 24.3% of attacks, whereas Islamic terrorist groups account for only 1.6% of the events between 1954 and 2004. Hewitt describes each terrorist event in detail, identifying the group, type of group, method of attack, date of attack, casualties, and known damage. Some descriptions are more informative than others simply due to the nature of data availability – a dilemma that all terrorism researchers face. Hewitt’s chronology deserves a space on reference shelves next to other encyclopedias of terrorism. However, it is definitely a chronology, and therefore it does not contain much substantive information on the origins of terrorist groups and their strategies. In order to understand the broad patterns and themes emerging within terrorist groups in the United States, readers will have to reference the more substantive Understanding Terrorism in America in which Hewitt subjects his data to scrutiny and derives some inferences and conclusions. Moreover, the chronology itself will be even more useful when the data has been compiled into a statistical software package and becomes