So many books to read, so little time.

Themed Reading List 1

with 2 comments

Adam Elkus

Topic: Crowd Control in Low-Intensity Conflict

A crucial element in counterinsurgency is creating civil order. But crowds, especially in massed urban environments of the future, can become easily inflamed and trigger riots–harming that order and forcing the police/occupying authority to risk the use of lethal force. There is, however, a growing literature on crowds and mass power. This is a short reading list designed to give an overview of crowd behavior, crowd psychology, and riot control.

  1. Elias Cannetti, Crowds and Power.
  2. Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.
  3. Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
  4. Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs.
  5. Antonio Negri, The Multitude: War and Peace in the Age of Empire.
  6. Department of the Army, FM 3-11.11, “Flame, Riot Control, and Herbicide Operations.”
  7. David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd.
  8. Steven Henry Strogatz, Sync: The Science of Spontaneous Order.
  9. James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds
  10. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons”, Science, Vol. 162, No. 3859 (December 13, 1968), pp. 1243-1248.
  11. Nick Lewer, “Non-Lethal Weapons, Operational and Policy Development,” The Lancet, 362: S20, December 2003.

Written by Adam Elkus

October 16, 2008 at 1:29 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. AE,

    “Kill or get killed” by the late Col. Rex Applegate chapter 13 onwards. Despite the gruesome title it is actually an early WWII cops and military handbook by. I bought some years ago and read only parts of it which interested me at the time. A classic. The author has written extensively on riot control and patrolling as well.

    Funny thing by the way, I bought this in the pre internet / Amazon times at an English-laguage bookshop where I was fairly well known for ordering books by Evelyn Waugh, Siegfried Sasson, Roy Jenkins and so on and so forth.

    The expression of the very nice chap who handed it to me (having ordered it via Paladin Press I am afraid) was pricelss. The great PG Wodehouse might just have found a metaphor for it.


    October 17, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  2. There is a (not entirely unjustified stereotype) that people interested in military-themed books are either frothing Colonel Blimp types or anti-government militia survivalists–especially the Paladin press titles.

    This is unfortunate as security (on all levels–personal, collective, national, and international) is the most basic (and important) of subjects. If we are ignorant about, we are ignorant on one of the foundations of a civilized society.

    Adam Elkus

    October 17, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: