HarperCollins Publishers, 2007
“There will be few more important books for the next president of the United States to read than William Polk’s Violent Politics -- a brilliant comparative analysis by an experienced American scholar-diplomat of insurgent movements over three centuries. The conclusion of Polk’s study is devastating, and can affect the politics of 2008.” —John Brademas, President Emeritus, New York University, former member for twenty-two years of the U.S. House of Representatives
“Dr. Polk’s book is a vivid illustration of how, time after time, major military powers have failed in their objectives because they became viewed as occupiers.” —Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa) is chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee
“This wise history-grounded book analyzes a dozen guerrilla wars from the American Revolution to Iraq, and in a brilliant conclusion, Dr. Polk lays out the enormous human and financial costs of trying to impose a foreign solution on people who do not want to be controlled by outsiders. A must-read for all thinking Americans.” —Former Senator George S. McGovern
"Based on impressive research and decades of professional experience, Dr. Polk compares a dozen or more insurgencies of the past two centuries. He concludes that they share a universal characteristic--opposition to foreign rulers…Polk's book is full of arresting analogies and adroit comparisons, ranging over several continents, as occupiers confront terrorists.”
—Thomas L. Hughes, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“William Polk's masterful and succinct history of eleven insurgent wars is the best available antidote to the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that de-couples war and politics. Polk re-couples them through the prism of historical experience.” —William E. Odom, Lieutenant General, USA, Retired
“This is a 'must-read' for all U.S. policy-makers, the media, and the general public, if we are to get American foreign policy back on track and prevent the misnamed ‘Global War on Terror’ from destroying what defines us affirmatively, as Americans, in the global community." —Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Ca), is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“William Polk, in a sweeping insightful review of the history of insurgencies (back to the American Revolution), explains why and how those who come to be seen as occupiers and oppressors invariably fail.” —Dr. Landrum Bolling, former president of the Lilly Foundation, Director-at-Large, Mercy Corps.
“Absolutely superb.” —John V. Whitbeck, Noted international lawyer and author.
“William Polk’s book is particularly relevant for Americans today to better understand the reactions of foreign nations to American foreign policy initiatives.” —John Gunther Dean, former Regional Director in Vietnam of CORDS and US ambassador to the Khmer Republic, Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand, and India.
“With an extensive global look at the history of insurgency – and its tactics of terrorism and guerrilla warfare – Violent Politics provokes informed dialogue and a re-evaluation of American policy toward extremist threats. A critical read.” —Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
"A captivating but disquieting examination of how insurgencies begin, grow, persist and either succeed or fail...A lucid, absorbing analysis of the theory and reality underpinning three centuries of insurgent movements." —Kirkus Review