My review of Tremble the Devil


For the first time, an entire book on the history, origins, and future of terrorism is available for free online in an easy-to-navigate format. Before buying the book you can read as much of it as you’d like online at:

Tremble the Devil was written by a Harvard-educated counterterrorism analyst, it’s an accessible, fast-paced distillation of everything you need to know about the world’s most dangerous phenomenon.

From the start terrorism has been framed as the work of the Devil himself, but this is a dangerous misconception: terrorism is nothing more than the continuation of ancient wars by modern means.

We see it everyday in the news: uncurling in the clouds above shattered Lebanese refugee camps, stretching out across deafened North African streets, and clawing hungrily at the social fabric of America. As our societies and the technologies they depend on have evolved, so too have the methods of the terrorist.

Understanding today’s terrorism requires three levels of comprehension: how the history and religion of the Middle East shaped and in many ways predicated the first modern acts of terrorism, the still-evolving relationship between terrorism and asymmetric warfare, and how globalization’s technological and cultural implications will determine the shape and character of the miasma of terror that now threatens to darken the face of the entire civilized world.

“Tremble the Devil” uses engaging allusions to everyone and everything from Jesus Christ to Beer Pong and from Malcolm X to Friday the Thirteenth, hooks taken from the words of artists ranging from the Rolling Stones and Jay-Z to William Blake and Tupac Shakur at the start of each chapter, and the social insights of “The Tipping Point” along with the compelling colloquial style of “Freakonomics.” All of this is woven together to form an intriguing and salient book that reads like a novel.

5 Stars

A well written book about the history and types of terrorism, why it comes about and mindsets of the people involved. It’s almost inevitable that any society in power will find itself the target of terrorism since there will always be some group that finds itself disaffected and pushed to the brink. The differing views of terrorist attacks, those in the west and those of the disaffected groups, is what struck me the most. That and the potential for homegrown terrorists building in our prisons. The history about Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King was interesting. I had never paid much attention to their personal stories, just what was presented in the paper or on TV each February, so it was kind of surprising.

The text of the book can be read online for free at the website I highly suggest checking it out.