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Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists

Joan Smith

8 Reviews

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Terrorism, armed struggle

An urgent manifesto revealing the link between domestic violence and terrorism by seasoned journalist and human rights campaigner

What do the attacks in London Bridge, Manchester and Westminster have in common with those at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the Finsbury Park Mosque attack and multiple US shootings?

They were all carried out by men with histories of domestic violence.

TERRORISM BEGINS AT HOME.

Terrorism is seen as a special category of crime that has blinded us to the obvious - that it is, almost always, male violence. The extraordinary link between so many tragic recent attacks is that the perpetrators have practised in private before their public outbursts.

In these searing case studies, Joan Smith, feminist and human rights campaigner, makes a compelling and persuasive argument for a radical shift in perspective. Incomprehensible ideology is transformed through her clear-eyed research into a disturbing but familiar pattern.

From the Manchester bomber to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, from angry white men to the Bethnal Green girls, from US school shootings to the London gang members who joined ISIS, Joan Smith shows that, time and time again, misogyny, trauma and abuse lurk beneath the rationalizations of religion or politics.

Until Smith pointed it out in 2017, criminal authorities missed this connection because violence against women is dangerously normalised. Yet, since domestic abuse often comes before a public attack, it's here a solution to the scourge of our age might be found. Thought-provoking and essential, HOME-GROWN will lift the veil on a revelatory truth.

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Praise for Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists

  • The reasons why people radicalise and turn to terrorism is one of the most heavily studied subjects in the world but much academic work generates more heat than light. Joan Smith has achieved the rare feat of saying something new about this subject, by uncovering an unsettling connection to domestic violence and misogyny. Her book contains important implications for policy-makers tackling one of the defining issues of our age. - John Bew, Orwell Prize-winning author of Citizen Clem

  • A timely book that offers a radical yet clear-eyed view at how misogyny and toxic masculinity intersect with acts of extremism. I found it both illuminating and chilling - it has completely changed the way I view terrorism. - Louise O'Neill, author of Asking for It

  • This writer has gone where angels fear to tread. Remarkable. Politicians, policy makers, police and security officers, social workers, educators and concerned citizens should read this disturbing and perceptive book. To defeat evil, one must know it first. - Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

  • A hitherto missing link vital for anti-terrorist chiefs, police and policy makers to digest and act upon - Lord Peter Hain

  • Joan Smith has once again got to the heart of an issue that impacts on us all. The facts are clear, women are the first victims of extremists, but it's rarely set out so coherently and with such devastating impact - Nazir Afzal

  • A compelling argument that gives me anger and hope. Anger that domestic and sexual violence are not widely recognised as terrorism, and hope that Smith's call to action will be heard so we can be safer from terrorism in all its forms - Karen Ingala Smith, CEO of Nia and the Femicide Census

  • The revelation of Joan Smith's book is the danger it poses. If we are scared of terrorism, she argues, the smart way to keep safe would be to pay much more attention to domestic violence . . . The similarities are so relentlessly consistent, the only puzzle is why it has taken this long for anyone to notice - Sunday Times

  • Smith, a feminist and human rights campaigner, contends that if victims were believed, domestic abuse were better recognised ... then numerous acts of terrorism ... could and can be avoided - Observer

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Joan Smith

Joan Smith is a novelist, columnist and campaigner for human rights. She is the author of the feminist classic Misogynies and the Loretta Lawson crime series, and writes for the Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Times and New York Times, among others. Since 2013 she has been co-chair of the Mayor of London's Violence Against Women and Girls Board. She lives in London.

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