Book - MIT Press

Terrorism and America: A Commonsense Strategy for a Democratic Society

  • Philip B. Heymann


"With exceptional judgment, Philip Heymann evaluates the tension between effective counterterrorism measures against domestic and international threats, and traditional democratic values. I have learned much from his clear and intelligent analysis of how we should fight terrorism."

— John Deutch, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, former Director of Central Intelligence and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense

"Increasingly, terrorists don''t just want a place at the table, but rather to destroy the table and all sitting there, possibly with weapons of mass destruction. Phil Heymann applies his superb intellect, highly relevant experience and-most importantly-his calm and clear-eyed judgment to this most hideous and perplexing of today''s threats to our security. Use this book as your new standard of comparison for writings about terrorism and how to deal with it."--R. James Woolsey, Attorney and former Director of Central Intelligence (1993-95)

"Plenty has been written on the danger of terrorism. Phil Heymann has now written the best single volume in print on how governments should respond. Writing from an extraordinary background in both the Justice and State Departments of this government, he is as proficient on international cooperation as he is on the subject of hostage negotiations. He is a true scholar-practitioner and the book gets beyond theorizing into concrete, highly readable advice. After the Cold War, Americans have more and more cause to fear terrorism. If they want to take counsel from their fears, this book is the place to start." --Philip Zelikow, White Burkett Miller Professor of History and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

"Philip Heymann''s Terrorism and America is by far the best treatise on coping with Terrorism. In an area burdened with clichés, this book is a breeze of sanity and wisdom. ... It is must reading for every person concerned with coping with terrorism in a democratic society." --Professor Ariel Merai, Head of the Political Violence Unit, Tel Aviv University, and founder and former commander of Israel''s Hostage Negotiations and Crisis Management Team

"If war is a continuation of political relations by other means, as Clausewitz wrote 165 years ago, then terrorism is violence for a political purpose, as Phil Heymann writes today. It is vital for the United States to counter the threat of terrorism with reasoning and capabilities consistent with American politics and liberty. This book adroitly presents such a strategy." --Robert B. Zoellick, Olin Professor of National Security, U.S. Naval Academy, former Under Secretary of State and White House Deputy Chief of Staff

The bombings of the World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City federal building have shown that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the United States. Around the globe, massacres, hijackings, and bombings of airliners are frequent reminders of the threat of terrorism. The use of poison gas in the Tokyo subway has raised the specter of even more horrible forms of terror -- including the use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

In this book, Philip Heymann argues that the United States and other democracies can fight terrorism while preserving liberty and maintaining a healthy, unified society. Drawing on his experience in the US Departments of State and Justice, he shows how domestic and foreign intelligence-gathering can thwart terrorism, how the United States must cooperate and share information with its allies, and how terrorism can be prevented in many cases. Terrorism will never disappear completely, but the policies Heymann offers can limit the harm to Americans and protect the integrity of US governmental processes.

Philip B. Heymann is the James Barr Ames Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He is the author of Terrorism, Freedom, and Security: Winning | without War (MIT Press, 2003) and co-author of Preserving Security and | Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism.

About This Book

Terrorism and America: A Commonsense Strategy for a Democratic Society
Philip B. Heymann
For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: Philip B. Heymann. Terrorism and America: A Commonsense Strategy for a Democratic Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, .

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