Unlike most books on international terrorism, which too frequently consist of righteous exhortations interspersed with a mishmash of examples of terrorist incidents, this is a finely crafted book that examines a single case: the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in October 1985 by four Palestinians, and their murder of a wheelchair-bound American passenger. The author, an Italian professor of law at the European University in Florence, deftly evaluates the conflicting attitudes and actions of the American, Italian and Egyptian governments. The American approach he considers too militaristic and rigid. While he contrasts it unfavorably with the willingness of Rome and Cairo to negotiate, they too are faulted for not adequately living up to the norms of international law. One need not agree with all the author's judgments to find this an unusual and excellent essay on the impact of terrorism upon the international community.
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