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Talking to the Enemy: Violent Extremism, Sacred Values, and What it Means to Be Human Hardcover – 4 Nov 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st edition (4 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846144124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846144127
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,224,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

This deeply researched, wide ranging, and very timely study provides a compelling and often surprising account of what lies behind the jihadi phenomenon . . . . It should be read carefully, and pondered (Noam Chomsky)

Scott Atran is one of the very few persons who understand religion and have figured out that religion is not about belief and cannot be naively replaced without severe side effects (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan)

A riveting account of the motivational basis of terrorism and field material of rare quality. Dismantling the myths that guide the so called war on terror, he provides the tools to address a global problem rationally and effectively (Carlo Strenger, Graduate Chair of Clinical Psychology, Tel Aviv University, and columnist for Ha'aretz)

The political implications of [Atran's] well-grounded analysis are profound but conveyed in an accessible style which left me excited and hopeful (John, Lord Alderdice, Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and President of Liberal International)

Atran's intellectual reach is prodigious; his analysis of the underpinnings of terrorism is instructive, if often unconventional; and his provocative prescriptions merit debate and consideration (Publishers Weekly)

Atran explores the way terrorists think about themselves and teaches us, at last, intelligent ways to think about terrorists. He puts the threat in perspective and provides keys to winning the fight against violent zealotry (Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Middle East Editor)

The stories Atran brings back from talking to jihadists and their supporters are gripping, and the result of his experiments that probe their sacred values are compelling. The insights he gains tell us more than we knew before about what it means to be human (Robert Axelrod, Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan)

Atran is one of the world's most important thinkers on the local and global dynamics of violent Islamist extremism ... required reading for those trying to understand the problems of terrorism in the 21st century (Juan Zarate, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism 2005 - 2009)

Atran deploys his formidable knowledge ... to dissect the various dynamics that have helped form human individuals into groups, warbands, hunting parties or armies over the millennia ...Even more impressive is Atran's field research... research that underpins his vision of radical Islamic militancy as an adaptive social movement... A very useful addition to other, more mainstream understandings of what "al-Qaida" might be. (Jason Burke Observer)

Talking to the Enemy is about far more than violent extremism. One of the most penetrating works of social investigation to appear in many years, it offers a fresh and compelling perspective on human conflict. (John Gray Literary Review)

About the Author

Scott Atran is a director of research in anthropology at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France. He is also a research associate and visiting professor in psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan, a Presidential Scholar in Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and cofounder of ARTIS Research and Risk Modeling.


8 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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