What is fanaticism? Is the term at all useful? After all, one person's fanatic is another's freedom fighter. This new book probves these key questions of the twenty first century. It details how throughout history there have been fanatics eager to pursue their religious, political or personal agendas. Fanaticism has fuelled many of the conflicts of the twentieth century, in particular the theatres of combat of the Second World War. More recently, religious fanaticism has bedevilled affairs in the Middle East and elsewhere. Is fanaticism becoming more fanatical in the new millennium? As the events of 11 September 2001 prove, fanaticism, however it is defined, continues to dominate international affairs. The volume covers the nature and philosophy of fanaticism, the connection between political ideology and fanaticism, and the relationship between fanaticism and war in the contemporary era. To illustrate these themes, the volume presents a broad range of case studies including the Dervishes in the Sudan in the 1890s, fanaticism in the context of the Pacific war, 1937-45, the 12th SS Hitler Jugend Division in action in Normandy in 1944, the German army on the Eastern Front, and terrorism and guerrilla war after 1945.