***** Homeland Security: An Introduction to Principles and Practice, Second Edition. By Charles P. Nemeth. CRC Press; crcpress.com; 652 pages; $69.95; also available as e-book.
At first glance, Homeland Security appears to be another boring textbook suitable only for an undergraduate course. This misconception is quickly dispelled from nearly the first page. The work is a well-organized, thought-provoking manual that is far superior to most references on the topic. Each chapter presents a distinct aspect of homeland security written in an easy-to-understand format. The work stays on topic and seamlessly flows through each area of discussion.
The book begins with a historical introduction of how homeland security came about. It includes, but is not defined by, the 9-11 attacks. Unlike many works, it is able to move past that tragedy, using it to educate the reader without provoking undue emotion. The book includes explanations of transportation, consumables, business and economics, and their impact on towns, communities, and cities. It also explains how homeland security is constantly evolving.
Nemeth discusses internal aspects of terrorism: urban violence, political and religious dissonance, and race, among others. This gives the reader a grasp of dangers, emphasizing the need for homeland security.
The author explains the creation and evolution of various homeland security departments and agencies, and problems that needed to be overcome. These problems include complacency, inadequate training, turf battles, and the danger of information being compromised the more it is shared.
The work explains the cyber aspect of homeland security: who the perpetrators are, the tools they employ, and how they attempt to accomplish their goals. It also discusses the importance of the private sector and the role of intelligence in combating terrorism.
Graphs, illustrations, and historical documents illuminate the text. Chapters contain an introduction, conclusion, key words, study questions, and exercises with suggestions for further research. Homeland Security is a refreshingly up-to-date work that is deeper and more inclusive than most.
Reviewer: William Eardley IV has 26 years of experience in security and corrections. He is a member of ASIS International.