Christopher Cox

  • The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror

    Reading a book on nineteenth-century anarchism by John Merriman is a bit like reading one on the semicolon by Strunk and White. Merriman’s A History of Modern Europe (1996) is perhaps the best survey of the era, but by narrowing his scope from five hundred years of Continental history to a few bomb-throwing anarchists in Belle Epoque France, he is able to pack in riveting detail. The Dynamite Club covers the rise of anarchism in France between the 1871 Paris Commune and the execution, in 1894, of Émile Henry for the deaths and injuries resulting from his bombing of a police station and a café.

  • Everybody Talks About the Weather . . . We Don’t: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof

    It’s easy to guess why a collection of writings by Ulrike Meinhof is just now being published in English: Understanding terrorists is a newly thriving field of scholarship, and the left-wing, European extremists in the Red Army Faction make a nice control group for an all-Islamist-all-the-time sample set. How did Meinhof go from upstanding citizen to anticapitalist bomber, from mother to monster? By 1972, when the fugitive Meinhof was finally captured, the RAF had been linked to dozens of bank robberies and bombings, along with the murders of several policemen, and Meinhof was sent to prison,