Making Sense of Terror

Gabrielle Rifkind, Rowan Somerville

04/03/2018 3:30 pm

Gabrielle Rifkind offers a unique insight into the psychology of political extremism. When we talk about IS and similar groups, we approach them as political organisations. What, however, would Sigmund Freud have made of these deadly entities? We need to ask the question: Do the inner disquiets of Islam make more sense to psychologists than to Imams? In her new book,The Psychology of Political Extremism: what Sigmund Freud would have thought about Islamic State, Rifkind argues that Islamic State is primarily seen through a political lens; the psychological motivation of such groups is poorly understood.

Seventeen years ago a suicide bomber murdered 22 people in Tel Aviv. In his meticulously researched work of non-fiction, Beat, Rowan Somerville tells the story of how the heart of a Palestinian pharmacist, killed in an act of retribution in the midst of the Second Intifada, came to save the life of a dying Israeli.

Gabrielle Rifkind

Rowan Somerville

Hugo Rifkind

Hugo Rifkind is an award-winning Edinburgh-born journalist who writes columns for The TimesThe Spectator and GQ. He writes the satirical Times column My Week on Saturdays and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz.