Political Assassins, Terrorists and Related Conspiracies in American History

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About the Book

Political assassinations and terrorism have both outraged and fascinated the public throughout American history, particularly in the modern era. Providing biographical summaries of more than 100 assassins and terrorists, this book aims at a more complete understanding of the motivations behind violent extremism.

The lives of the subjects are analyzed with a focus on psychological and ideological factors, along with details of investigations and criminal trials. Conspiracy theories are evaluated for credibility. Social media features prominently in explaining political violence by members of extremist groups in the 21st century, including radical Islamic terrorists, anti-abortion activists and white supremacists.

About the Author(s)

Scott P. Johnson has been a professor of political science, coordinator of the Law & Society program, and pre-law advisor at Frostburg State University since 1999 and has authored numerous articles in law journals and law reviews. He received Faculty Achievement Awards for Academic Accomplishment in 2011 and 2014 and also received the FSU Outstanding Mentor Award in 2012.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Johnson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8393-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4203-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Readers will be hard-pressed to find a more exhaustive study than Johnson’s work examining many of the most notorious acts in American history. Providing theory and context for countless violent plots aimed to affect American politics, this work is a must read for those interested in fringe activities in the United States.”—Robert M. Alexander, founding director of the Ohio Northern Institute for Civics and Public Policy

• “For centuries, people who struggle with psychological and emotional disorders have been perceived as dangerous and unpredictable. Although clinical psychologists warn against the use of such labels, Political Assassins, Terrorists, and Related Conspiracies in American History provides historical accounts of how political extremism, personality disorders, and psychological trauma have contributed to devious and reckless behaviors towards high-profile political figures. From the conspirators who plotted against Abraham Lincoln, through the mysterious story of Lee Harvey Oswald, to the extreme fundamentalists of today, you will find all of the details you need in this historical encyclopedia of some of the world’s most disturbing political occurrences. This book is a must read for anyone who is curious about the juncture where political history and psychological conspiracies collide.”—Ronald Holste, M.A.S.S. Instructor of Psychology and Political Science, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

• “Scott Johnson deftly combines analysis of the psychological, ideological, and religious motivations of assassins with broad historical insight into the circumstances surrounding acts of political violence. His framework of comparing presidential assassins, domestic assassins, and domestic and foreign terrorists provides ground for understanding the psychology of immoderate acts”—Hans Hacker, associate professor of Political Science, Arkansas State University