What motivates suicide bombers? Can we stop them by winning the hearts and minds of local populations? Will the phenomenon spread to the United States? These vital questions are at the heart of this important book. Mia Bloom contrasts the use of suicide bombing in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe and considers the effect and effectiveness of government responses across several regions. The book begins with a review of the long history of terrorism, including the Jewish Zealots in the first century, the Hindu Thugs in ancient times, the Ismail Assassins of the twelfth century, the Japanese Kamikaze during World War II, and Palestinian, Tamil, and Chechen terrorists of today. Bloom differentiates between religious and nationalist groups, pointing out that several of the most lethal terrorist organizations are decidedly secular. One chapter focuses on what motivates women to become martyrs. The motives of individuals are important but the larger question is, What external factors make it possible for terrorism to flourish? Bloom describes these conditions and develops a theory of why terrorist tactics work in some instances and fail in others.