The Price of Paradise
How the Suicide Bomber shaped the Modern Age
By Iain Overton
Published by Quercus; Dist. by Hachette Aust.
RRP $34.99 in paperback • ISBN 9781787470866
The author of this book, Iain Overton, is a multi-award winning journalist and human rights campaigner, and has reported from over two dozen conflict zones worldwide.
Today he runs the London based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), but prior to that he worked for the BBC, ITN and the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He has written for the Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs and International Business Times, among others. He is the recipient of two Amnesty Media Awards, a BAFTA, and a Peabody Award, and holds two degrees from Cambridge University. He also lectures on human rights journalism.
In this new book, he explores what drives people to blow themselves up and the consequences. More importantly perhaps, he poses the question: what can be done to combat the rising spread of this form of violence?
It is sobering to discover that 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?
Overton addresses the fundamental drivers of modern-day suicide attacks and he explores the response of western law enforcement agencies to the threat of suicide bombers in the major cities, which has lead, inevitably, to the militarisation of police forces.
For a longer review of this book, I encourage you to go to this review by Peter Beaumont, who is a senior reporter on the Guardian’s Global Development desk. Just click on the link below:
Overton challenges the flawed logic of the promise of paradise and religious justification of the Muslim suicide bomber. He proposes a non-violent path to peace but such a path requires a change in thinking among the extremists. It is only pressure from within that will achieve that.