Book Review - The Handbook of Security

Strategic Security
Book Review: The Handbook of Security
 Palgrave Macmillan; Palgrave.com; 1,080 pages; $260.

Editor Martin Gill has collected essays from more than 50 well-credentialed and respected authors to create a superb holistic catalog of security.  The Handbook of Security, Second Edition, builds upon the first edition with a wider array of subject matter and a greater diversity of topics, resulting in a more exciting study of the field and profession of security.  

Beginning with a comprehensive historical look at the security industry, the book goes on to answer fundamental questions about the range of threats facing today’s world. It looks at how current economic conditions—far different from when the previous edition was first published—have affected the profession and agencies responsible for predicting and reacting to crime, and to what degree technological advances have impacted our world. The overall result is that security has become a dominant feature in our lives, whether we know it or not.

Although, at more than 1,000 pages, The Handbook of Security can appear daunting, this is indeed essential reading for all those involved with the security world. Both the student of security and the security professional will become engaged in the content, from the historical study of security as a discipline to the long-range issues impacting the profession. Among other things, it addresses crimes by offense and by industry, risk management, security processes, research in the field, and ethical issues. One shortcoming of the book is that it does not provide many charts or graphs to illustrate and support the material, though the flow of the text sufficiently covers the information.  

This book has significant value to security professionals at all levels as well as being a valuable research tool for the academic world of security management. It will soon be dog-eared and filled with bookmarks as are the invaluable resources in any professional’s library.

Reviewer: Terry L. Wettig, CPP, is director of security risk management for Brink’s Incorporated and is based in Richmond Virginia. A retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, he is studying for a Ph.D. in organizational psychology.