Notes From the Margins…

The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism from the Assassination of Alexander II to al-Qaeda

  • December 29, 2018
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, New Press 2007. Also published in the UK as:The Infernal Machine: An Alternative History of Terrorism Hurst 2010

‘Academic criticism of the quasi-field of ‘terrorism studies’ has been muted. By contrast, journalist Matthew Carr delivers a fierce assault on ‘terrorology’ the exaggeration of the terrorist threat by governments and supposed experts, long predating 9/11. His view of ‘a world tormented by the fantasy of absolute terror and fixated by a futile search for absolute security’ may be a bit one-sided, but it makes a vital point.’ —Times Higher Education

‘Carr’s central point is that [politicians’] responses go beyond all sensible assessment of risk and do half the terrorist’s job for him. … I am with Carr in believing that the chief risk today is not of Muslim terrorists undermining western democracy but of the West doing so itself by absurdly overstating that risk.’ –Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

‘Carr has a twofold mission. To establish the humanity and sanity of men and women whom governmental and media maledictions have routinely caricatured as evil monsters, and to expose the atrocities and injustices that are perpetrated under the guise of counter-terrorism.’ –Michael Burleigh, Sunday Telegraph

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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