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Williams, P. (2014). The Enigma of the Suicide Bomber: A Psychoanalytic Essay; by Franco De Masi Karnac, London, 2010; 127 pp; £19.95. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(4):807-810.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(4):807-810

The Enigma of the Suicide Bomber: A Psychoanalytic Essay; by Franco De Masi Karnac, London, 2010; 127 pp; £19.95

Review by:
Paul Williams

This is an extremely serious little book. It takes as its subject one of the most perplexing, lethal activities of which humanity is capable - suicide bombing. Franco De Masi, well-known for his work on the unconscious dynamics of psychosis and its analytic treatment, pieces together a mosaic of understanding in a little over 100 pages that takes into account the strategic aims of the suicide bomber, current psychoanalytic contributions, the origins and profile of individuals likely to commit the act, the role of martyrdom and links to sadomasochism, the intimate relationship between murder and suicide, filicide, female suicide bombers, the role played by trauma and dehumanization, dissociation of emotions, omnipotence and uniqueness of identity, God as a cannibal and the vital question of whether terrorism of this kind is reversible or irreversible.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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