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Book of the Month - January 2018

Our January Book of the Month is American Self-Radicalizing Terrorists and the Allure of "Jihadi Cool/Chic" by Caroline Joan "Kay" S. Picart.


This book provides a critical legal analysis of how American self-radicalizing terrorists become what they are by analyzing, in detail, the stories of Colleen LaRose, America’s first Most Wanted Female Terrorist, and the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Jahar (Dzhokhar), the Boston Marathon Bombers. Drawing from the analytic tools of cutting-edge studies on terrorism by global experts, as well as the latest news reports, policy papers, Congressional Hearings, and legal documents, the book illustrates how the internet provides the means through which a self-activating terrorist may first self-radicalize through some imaginary or sympathetic connection with an organized terrorist network. It includes an analysis of “America’s Most Watched Trial,” United States v. Tsarnaev, as it moved through its “guilt” and “penalty” phases, and its culmination in Jahar’s being sentenced to death by lethal injection as America’s youngest self-radicalizing terrorist.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJAN18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st February 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


“Caroline Picart's book offers both illumination and analytic clarity. Setting riveting narratives into powerfully explanatory theoretical contexts, she provides case studies of three notorious terrorists, in each case detailing the role of the Internet in creating an alluring rhetoric of 'jihadi cool' that induced these troubled individuals to commit monstrous acts on behalf of violent movements with which they had little organizational contact.”

—Harry Keyishian, Professor Emeritus of English, Fairleigh Dickinson University


“Picart's timely book sets out the problems of any blanket preventative strategy by outlining the different factors at play through detailed and thorough case studies. The work provides not only a theoretical overview but also demonstrates the importance of individual circumstances and the role of high quality audio visual production values to create 'jihadi cool', both of which problematize a blanket policy approach. A valuable contribution to the field.”

—Steve Greenfield, Deputy Head, School of Law, University of Westminster


“This excellent book provides readers with key insights into the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers and Colleen LaRose (a.k.a. Jihad Jane). Using a wealth of diverse artefactual materials from legal, cultural, media, and other sources, the author does a masterful job of explaining the evolutionary nature of some jihadist movements. This is essential reading for anyone interested in self-radicalized terrorists and the mediated coverage of global jihadism.”

—Marouf A. Hasian, Jr., Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, University of Utah


“Picart masterfully explores the enigma of self-radicalization by employing cutting-edge theories and methods. By lucidly exposing the roots of home-grown terrorism, this book reveals the challenges ahead for our society and legal system to address the origins of this violence. Picart's disturbing narratives lead us to an unsettling conclusion. Right now, we are indeed our own worst enemy.”

—M.C. Mirow, Professor of Law, F.I.U. College of Law, Miami


“This impressive and thought-provoking book explores a topic that so far has been largely neglected and overlooked - namely, how and why terrorists become terrorists. Through a detailed study and multi-layered analysis of the causes and processes of so-called 'self-radicalized terrorism', Picart's book provides a critical eye-opener not only to the disciplines of criminology and law studies but also to American society as such. Quite simply, a must-read, must-understand and must-use book for anyone trying to come to terms with our contemporary age of terrorism.”

—Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Professor of Sociology, Aalborg University


“How and why do some of us become 'monsters'? Devoid of sentimentalism, rage, judgment or moralizing, this captivating, thought-provoking book offers a richly detailed account of renowned cases of American self-radicalization that culminated in murderous acts of terror. As in a truly gripping thriller, even as all is systematically revealed, the horror remains.”

—Orit Kamir, Professor of Law and Culture, The Israeli Center for Human Dignity


“Caroline Picart's American Self-Radicalizing Terrorists and the Allure of Jihadi Cool/Chic is a fascinating look into the world of lone wolf terrorism. Through meticulous research and an engaging writing style, Picart unravels the dynamics of this growing threat. The case studies included in the book are compelling and provides new and important insights into how and why certain individuals become lone wolf terrorists. Definitely a book everyone should read.”

—Jeffrey D. Simon, Author of Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat


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