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The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State Hardcover – 20 Dec 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (20 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241240115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241240113
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Gripping, sobering and revelatory ... Unrivalled (Tom Holland New Statesman)

[A] hugely important book ... Indispensable (David Aaronovitch The Times)

Fascinating ... Highly readable ... The western military with its superior firepower can bomb Isis out of existence in Raqqa and Mosul as much as it likes, but we won't destroy the ideology if we don't understand what it is. This book goes a long way towards filling that gap (Christina Lamb Sunday Times)

Graeme Wood is America's foremost interpreter of ISIS as a world-historical phenomenon. In The Way of the Strangers, he has given us the definitive work to date on the origins, plans, and meaning of the world's most dangerous terrorist organization. Wood is a fearless, relentlessly curious and magnetically interesting writer who takes us on an intellectual and theological journey to the darkest places on the planet, and yet he manages to do this without despairing for our collective future. This book is a triumph of journalism. (Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief Atlantic)

Indispensable and gripping .... From Mosul to Melbourne, from Cairo to Tokyo, from London to Oslo, from Connecticut to California: Graeme Wood's quest to understand the Islamic State is a round-the-world journey to the end of the night. As individuals, the men he encounters are misfits, even losers. But their millenarian Islamist ideology makes them the most dangerous people on the planet. (Niall Ferguson)

Over the course of its short life, the Islamic State has inspired millions, thousands of whom have rallied to its cause in search of a glorious death. But why? Are its devotees nothing more than sadists and two-bit mafiosi for whom religion is a fig leaf, and who will fade away in the face of military defeat? In this essential book, Graeme Wood draws on over a decade of reporting to demolish these and other comforting deceptions. The Islamic State's devotees are true believers indeed, and their nightmarish vision will haunt our world for decades to come, regardless of what happens on the battlefield. (Reihan Salam, Executive Editor National Review)

From the Inside Flap

Based on his extensive time reporting throughout the region, and his unprecedented access to ISIS recruiters and supporters, Wood explores how the Islamic State's apocalyptic worldview informs their global media strategy, solidifies their authority, and dictates their geographically precise battle-plan. By accepting that ISIS is, at heart, an apocalyptic religious movement that truly believes the end is nigh, we can understand their strategy -- and predict what they will do next.

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