Publishing is usually done at a sedate pace, and reference publishing, even today, seems ploddingly slow to people from other industries. I’m someone who was born without a full allotment of patience, so it’s a little odd to have ended up here. But I love the challenge of speeding things up, both for print and soon for digital products.

We’ve already set the record for producing major, top quality multi-volume reference, with the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. On to the next challenge! We’ve been wanting to bring out something appropriate on terrorism, and at last have the publication that is sufficiently important and meaningful to fit with what we’re trying to do at Berkshire. Last week the U.S. State Department, which since 1985 has published the annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, announced that the report would no longer be released to the public.

Of the thousands of books on terrorism, these reports have long been considered the most detailed and timely sources of information on global terrorism. We think, in fact, that they are essential resources for our time. Last week was, therefore, a blur of activity and planning, and Berkshire’s Patterns of Global Terrorism: The Complete Reports of the National Counterterrorism Center will be released, in two volumes, in August 2005. This is a different challenge than our usual authored works, but the pressure is even more intense because of the absurdly short timetable and the fact that we are determined to make these reports more useful by adding annotations, summaries, and updates. Stay tuned!