We live in the age of the suicide bomber. The suicide bomb itself takes more lives than any other type of explosive weapon. Moreover, in the last 5 years more people have been killed by suicide attacks than at any other time in history.
How has this descent deep into the heart of terror escalated in such a way? What drives people to blow themselves up and what are the consequences? More importantly perhaps, what can be done to combat the rising spread of this form of violence?
Investigative journalist Iain Overton addresses the fundamental drivers of modern day suicide attacks in this fascinating and important book, showing how the suicide bomber has played a pivotal role in the evolution of some of the most defining forces of the modern age – from Communism and the Cold War, to the modern day War on Terror.
Interviewing Russian anarchists, Japanese kamikazes, Hezbollah militants, survivors of suicide bombings and countless other sources of valuable information, while travelling to places such as Iran, Irak and Pakistan, Overton skilfully combines historical narrative, travelogue, interviews and testimonies, and brings his research alive thanks to potent facts and visceral storytelling.
The result is a powerful and unforgettable read, the first non-academic attempt to chart the rise of this horrific weapon.
"Provocative and timely.... highly readable." - The Guardian
"A must-read book on the most frightening phenomenon of the modern age ... Fascinating." - The Sunday Times
"An informative book on a timely topic that demands critical scrutiny." - Evening Standard
An "outstanding study of the phenomenon". - NewStatesman