THE TERRORIST MIND by Gerald McKnight

THE TERRORIST MIND

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

McKnight's excursion among the guerrillas leads him from Beirut to Belfast, from Montevideo to Nicosia in an earnest reconnaissance of the terrorist psyche. There are times when he is forced to conduct his interviews with a pseudonym like ""Romeo"" who is presumably from the Tupamaros but could, in fact, be anybody. When he does manage to snare a real live guerrilla fighter--Bassam Abu Sharif of the Palestinian Liberation Front or Ruairi O'Bradaigh of the IRA Provos--the conversations are less than rewarding--grisly accounts of tortures endured, exhortations to the coming World Revolution. In Cyprus old-timer Nikos Koshis, veteran of the '50's campaign against the British, condemns the indiscriminate violence of a younger generation. McKnight's stance is one of fascinated horror; he has trouble deciding whether he is dealing with idealists or psychopaths. And bad as the men are, the women burn with a raging fury. ""As a general rule, the female gives herself to violent revolution far more passionately than a man. . . something deep and sexual in her psychology responds to underground conflict. . . ."" Certainly the females he meets--Maire Drumm who tells him that the killing must go on until the British connection is severed, Maria Esther Gilio who aids the Uruguayan rebels--seem to have a devastating impact on McKnight. The same cannot be said for the book, which is naive and unpleasantly voyeuristic.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1975
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill