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Security Intelligence Sourcebook.

Author: Frank McGuire Publisher: Interests Ltd., 8512 Cedar Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 1990, 300 pages, softback: $169.95 Reviewer: James Sutton, Director of the Office of Security Programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago

At $1.77 per page, Frank McGuire's Security Intelligence Sourcebook is one of the most expensive reference books on the market. The question to ask before purchasing this book is whether its utility justifies its expense.

While the book's topic and breadth of treatment piqued my curiosity, my objective was to scrutinize the quality and accuracy of the information included. For professional and academic reasons I have spent considerable money on publications dealing with terrorism, insurgency, and political violence. I have found many of them flawed.

Security Intelligence Sourcebook is a nearly flawless compilation of facts, activities, events, known terrorists, and extremist organizations throughout the world. The large number of illustrations make the book considerably useful. It is a valuable source for security administrators.

The book's perspective on terrorism is low-key and factual, and the section on executive protection is practical and effective. Right on target was the author's emphasis on gathering information from people and conducting accurate research.

When the threat of widespread terrorism in retaliation against Operation Desert Storm failed to materialize, journalists and public officials cautiously questioned whether the threat was exaggerated. Thoughtful security professionals should ask themselves if the threat is exaggerated. The answer is no. Is McGuire's book relevant? Absolutely.

As a tactic, terrorism has proved it can outrage and intimidate in order to extort money and obtain short-term political advantages. As McGuire points out, "The question...is not whether there will continue to be terrorism...or violence, but rather what kind of terrorism and what kind of protection are most likely for the future."

Considering that the largest percentage of terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests occur in Latin America, I was somewhat disappointed that McGuire did not provide more information about insurgent and terrorist organizations in the region. But this does not detract from the book's value.

Is the cost of Security Intelligence Sourcebook justified? Without doubt. It is not a book, it is a commodity: clear, concise, and accurate information presented in an accessible format. The cost merely reflects the expense and time spent collecting high-quality, comprehensive data. The reference value of the publication will easily outlive the memory of its cost.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Sutton, James
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:397
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