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Book Review: Anti-American Terrorism: From Eisenhower to Trump – A Chronicle of the Threat and Response

Anti-American Terrorism: From Eisenhower to Trump – A Chronicle of the Threat and Response. By Dennis A. Pluchinsky. World Scientific Publishing Europe Ltd.;; 676 pages; $98.

0122-BookeReview-Anti-American-Terrorism.jpgAnti-American Terrorism: From Eisenhower to Trump – A Chronicle of the Threat and Response, Volume II: The Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations is the second in an encyclopedic series of books focused on the history and impact of terrorism in the United States. The book offers a detailed historical accounting of every terrorist event in the covered time period while providing context from domestic and international viewpoints. Anyone performing research on terrorism or trying to better understand the significance behind any particular event would benefit from this book.

The author, Dennis Pluchinsky, provides commentary that is helpful to a reader who may not remember these events firsthand. As the title suggests, Volume II starts with the Reagan administration, but the author also covers events that occurred during the 1980 U.S. presidential campaign. While never taking a political stance, the author does discuss how certain events shaped the platform for each candidate. For example, Pluchinsky shows that in a presidential debate, a question was raised by the moderator about policies dealing with terrorism that had never been asked in a presidential debate previously. Both candidates seemed unprepared for the question but quickly established policy and campaign planning to address the issue going forward.

Those who grew up in a post-9/11 America will find this volume interesting because the author provides insight into the country’s terrorist response capability prior to this seminal event.

This book is well-researched and includes data from domestic and international sources, which provides a unique context for this material. It is useful for a wide audience, from a new practitioner in the security management field to the senior manager looking to increase his or her knowledge and perspective into how the understanding of terrorism has evolved in the United States.

Reviewer: Bill Scott, CPP, Program Management Professional (PgMP), Project Management Professional (PMP), is a senior director with ABS Group focused on security and emergency response operations planning. He is former chair of the ASIS Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime Council and a member of the committee that wrote the ASIS standard on workplace violence.