My Life Is a Weapon by Christoph Reuter
A Modern History of Suicide Bombing

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What kind of people are suicide bombers? How do they justify their actions? In this meticulously researched and sensitively written book, journalist Christoph Reuter argues that popular views of these young men and women--as crazed fanatics or brainwashed automatons--fall short of the mark. In many cases these modern-day martyrs are well-educated young adults who turn themselves into human bombs willingly and eagerly--to exact revenge on a more powerful enemy, perceived as both unjust and oppressive. Suicide assassins are determined to make a difference, for once in their lives, no matter what the cost. As Reuter's many interviews with would-be martyrs, their trainers, friends, and relatives reveal, the bombers are motivated more by how they expect to be remembered--as heroic figures--than by religion-infused visions of a blissful life to come.

Reuter, who spent eight years researching the book, moves from the broken survivors of the childrens' suicide brigades in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, to the war-torn Lebanon of Hezbollah, to Israeli-occupied Palestinian land, and to regions as disparate as Sri Lanka, Chechnya, and Kurdistan. He tells a disturbing story of the modern globalization of suicide bombing--orchestrated, as his own investigations have helped to establish, by the shadowy Al Qaeda network and unintentionally enabled by wrong-headed policies of Western governments. In a final, hopeful chapter, Reuter points to today's postrevolutionary, post-Khomeini Iran, where a new social environment renounces the horrific practice in the very place where it was enthusiastically embraced just decades ago.


About Christoph Reuter

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published March 22, 2004 by Princeton University Press. 208 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Self Help, History, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Instead, Reuter, a reporter for the German magazine Stern , provides a serviceable introduction to the modern history of suicide bombing by Hezbollah, Hamas, the Iranian children's battalions in the Iran-Iraq war and Japanese kamikaze pilots, among others.

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London Review of Books

Suicide bombing is a recent phenomenon, but it’s an illusion to believe that it’s only in the mind of Islam that a link has been made between war and suicide, murder and martyrdom, killing the enemy and killing yourself.

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The New York Review of Books

In Hezbollah’s fifty state-approved secondary schools, which are mostly in the south and the Bekaa Valley, Lebanese youths are instructed in party doctrine and play games designed to reenact Hezbollah battles against Israeli soldiers in south Lebanon.

May 13 2004 | Read Full Review of My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern...

The New York Review of Books

Hezbollah has offered logistical support and training in the use of explosives and anti-tank missiles to Palestinian extremists, particularly members of Islamic Jihad, and has attempted to smuggle arms into the Occupied Territories to various groups, from the Palestinian Authority to Hamas.5 In ...

Apr 29 2004 | Read Full Review of My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern...

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