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Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat Hardcover – March 6, 2012


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About the Author

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent, and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post. He has also served as a special advisor to Israeli delegations to peace talks in 1991-1992 and as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; First Edition edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451659032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451659030
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Michael Widlanski is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, just published by Simon & Schuster /Threshold.

Michael Widlanski has an unusual background, combining the field experience of the reporter and security official with the intense academic research of a scholar.

Born in New York, Dr. Widlanski holds three degrees from Columbia University, the American University in Cairo and Bar Ilan University. He has served as an advisor to Israeli negotiating teams and as Strategic Affairs Advisor for Israel's Ministry of Public Security.

Dr. Widlanski edited the PLO's captured Orient House archives showing secret PLO and Hamas activities. He taught Middle East politics and communication at Hebrew University for two decades, was a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching also at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and research fellow at the Shalem Center.

Widlanski, who is fluent in Hebrew and several dialgects of Arabic, has written for The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post, National Review, and The New Republic, and he has been a reporter for Israel Television and Israeli Army Radio. He now teaches at Bar Ilan University.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Yetti Sinnreich on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Widlanski has done a masterful job of making his case that Islamic terrorism has succeeded against the West due to the knowing and unknowing help it has received by the "Western Elite." By Western Elite he refers to the academics, media, and government officials who have helped the Islamist terrorists' cause. Dr. Widlanski is not afraid to name names. This is a startling expose of complicity! The book provides the proof to back his assertions.
Dr. Widlanski in a refreshing departure from most finger pointers, offers not only accusations, but also the solution on how we can meet the challenge of terrorism head on and win. He skillfully redirects the conversation to challenge us to do just that before it is too late. Dr. Widlanski's wealth of experience and credentials combine with a thoroughly engaging style to provide us with a well-researched, well written book. This book is an essential read with a real plan for winning the struggle against Islamic terrorism.
It is clear that Widlanski is a real scholar of Islam and of counter-terror affairs. He takes a realistic and not an alarmist view of Islam. He does not paint all Muslims and Arabs as terrorists. However, he is much tougher on Westerners; that is the media pundits, professors and intelligence officials who often know little about their suposed fields of expertise. He does not suffer fools easily, especially those who pose as experts. Though Widlanski takes a very critical view of Western elites, he is not a pessimist, but rather an optimist who shows that the West can defeat Arab-Islamic terror. That is the positive message he leaves the reader.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Widlanski makes a strong case here for the idea that Western elites, both in the academic world and in the media have blunted and damaged the war against Terror by refusing to clearly call a spade, a spade. He shows the bias of the NY Times , CNN, National Public Radio and others who have not been direct and clear in defining the Islamist threat to the well- being of Western societies. He says that the threat to the West has been underestimated by the Liberal Left elite of Western societies. As someone whose knowledge of Arabic sources is extensive he brings evidence others have ignored to substantiate his claims.He suggests too that the whole hesitation of the West led to Osama Bin Laden's remaining at large long enough to inspire a whole set of new terror networks. All in all he indicates that the dangers to the West are far greater than our normally stated in the media and in the academic world. He makes a convincing case that far more must and should be done in exposing the real nature of Islamist terror, and its support groups.
This is a first - rate study by one who really knows the territory covered.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Burnat on March 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Battle For Our Minds rips apart the NY Times,CNN, the CIA and US Presidents and many more supported by indisputable facts so well the footnoted. Hopefully this book will be a wakeup call to the American government and the media. Michael Widlanski's background makes him the perfect person to write such a book, a must read for an caring American.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fred on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With political correctness having captured our Main Stream Media, our academic institutions, and our government agencies such as the CIA and the military, our nation is once again leaving itself open and vulnerable to a future devastating attack that could make 9/11 look like a cakewalk. Michael Widlanski in his Battle For Our Minds gives a hard hitting, no punches pulled indictment of the opinion shapers who unwittingly are playing the part of a Fifth Column. He backs up his indictments of the CNN's Peter Arnetts, New York Times' Tom Friedmans, CIA's Michael Scheuers, Columbia University's Edward Saids, and there ilk, who have distorted and misinterpreted events and facts to allow our leaders to make faulty decisions and increase the dangers that are being perpretrated by Radical Islam. He backs his finger pointing with seventy-six pages of notes which allows the reader to do his own checking and drawing his own conclusions. This book is a breath of fresh air that hopefully will ventilate the chambers of our decision makers. It is a must read for everyone who is concerned about the impending tsunami posed by the heirs of the Osama bin Ladens of the world. Widlanski's scholorship in this important work should serve as a text book for every course given on the subject of terrorism in the 21st century, and serve as required reading in the halls of Congress, the Pentagon, the State Dept. and the editorial rooms of our media. With Iran on the cusp of obtaining a WMD, time is short and Widlanski is sounding the warning bell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bikkurim on August 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book I was looking for. Its content on documentary evidence of "palestinian" prevarication on six decades of "peace agreements" should be a warning of why not and how not to concede to ANY Arab/Muslim initiative, particularly Iranian nuclear demands.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alison Isadora Vallocchia on November 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"How," you ask, could a 9-11 ever have happened on US soil? "Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat" by Michael Widlanski, succinctly shows us how it happened before our very eyes. No need to have a college degree to read this tome -- the conclusion is clear to all. This book serves as a grave warning against more of the same should the West fails to heed Widlanski's writing on the wall.
This book is a magnificently researched, stirring and ground-breaking textbook which should be required reading in every university. Tall order -- considering the slow and steady inimical shift in academic and US policy favoring pro-Arab/anti-Israeli concerns over the safety of our own minds. "Battle for Our Minds" illustrates in "tell-it-like-it-is" fashion how intelligentsia-ignorance and doublespeak unsuspectingly creates fertile ground for continued terrorism on US soil through lack of essential US intelligence and counter intelligence (thereby rendering the term an oxymoron). Arab-embracing policy á la Obama manifested in the clueless populous today is creating an impotent politically-correct country who is losing the battle for “the space between our ears” to the terrorists. Widlanski shows just how the jihadist terrorist values, the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, are gaining momentum through legitimate sanctions through weak non intelligence-based US policy, feeble leaders and a diluted 4th estate that is imminently beckoning the wolf onto our porch. Widlanski frames with impeccable and tirelessly-researched evidence how and why the West is in deep trouble with its agenda of denial vis-à-vis a shrewd opponent who is driven by a holy war of the mind.
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