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Addressing Tragedy in the Classroom

Edited by Steven Mintz, University of Houston

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Background
  3. Teaching Tragedy
  4. The Concept of Tragedy
  5. Religion
  6. Literature and Terror
  7. Alternatives to Violence
  8. Lesson Plans
  9. Chronologies
  10. Glossary
  11. Web Resources
  12. Essential Readings




Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (Random House, 2000)
William H. O'Neill described this book in the New York Times Book Review as "a valuable corrective to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in the English-speaking world."

John L. Esposito, The Oxford History of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2000)
16 leading scholars survey recent scholarship on Islam.

_____________, Islam: The Straight Path (3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1998)

_____________, Islam and Democracy (Oxford University Press).

Arts and Culture

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom, The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250-1800 (Yale University Press)

Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar, The Art and Architecture of Islam: 650-1250 (Yale University Press)


John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Nikki R. Keddie describes this book in the New York Times Book Review as "a good summary of 20th-century Islamic political movements in many countries."


General Works

Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (Columbia University Press, 1999)

Amin Maalouf, In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong (Arcade)
The distinguished Lebanese novelist examines how various kinds of identity have given rise to violence.

Walter Reich, ed., Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1998)
David F. Musto writes: " I don't know of another book which has the sweep of this one, the illustrative detail, and the welcome, refreshing recognition that there is no neat explanation for terrorism."


Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William J. Broad, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (2001)

Individual Terrorists

Yossef Bodansky, bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America (Random House, 2001)

Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Youself, Osama bin Laden, and the Future of Terrorism (Northeastern University Press, 1999)

Religion and Terror

Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (University of California Press, 2001)
Named the Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction Book of 2000, this is the first comparative study of religious terrorism.


John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism (Pluto Press, 2000)
By an ABC correspondent.

Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2001)
Fred Halliday describes this as "an impressive analysis of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, of its background and impact on our country, and the wider regional and political implications of the Taliban advent power…."


When Oliver Cromwell created his New Model Army, he turned to radical sectarians for soldiers, because he was convinced that the fervently religious would prove to be the most effective fighters. Every major religion has, had, at some time in its recent past, members who have committed terrorist acts: Buddhists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Sikhs. Every religious tradition has texts and precedents which can legitimate violence.


The United States's geographical isolation has provided us with a sense of security and self-confidence we often take for granted. But when our sense of security has been threatened, Americans have sometimes responded with fear and intolerance.

Page 1: Introduction

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