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Caliphate Hardcover – April 1, 2008

181 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Kratman, in 1974 at age seventeen, became a political refugee and defector from the PRM (People's Republic of Massachusetts) by virtue of joining the Regular Army. He stayed a Regular Army infantryman most of his adult life, returning to Massachusetts as an unofficial dissident while attending Boston College after his first hitch. Tom is currently an attorney practicing in southwest Virginia. Baen published his first novel, A State of Disobedience and two collaborations with John Ringo in the Posleen War series, Watch on the Rhine and Yellow Eyes. His latest novels are A Desert Called Peace and its sequel Carnifex.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555452
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Philip Schoenberg on August 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Tom Kratman's Caliphate would have been the novel that Bruce Bawer of WHILE EUROPE SLEPT: HOW RADICAL ISLAM IS DESTROYING THE WEST FROM WITHIN could have written. Like George Orwell's 1984 or S. M. Stirling's DRAKA novels, this dystopian world exists in which an imperialistic United States, a Czarist and socialist Russia, the celestial kingdom of China, and the two Islamic caliphates are totalitarian or authoritarian in nature with little to choose from. The Christian minority in Europe is treated as second-class citizens under the strictures of Islam. The infrastructure under Islamic sway suffers from technological decline in which the Caliphate's purchase some military technology. The USA has a dictatorship that has evolved in response to a surprise Islamic terrorist act that destroyed three American cities: Boston, Los Angeles, and Kansas City. In fighting the Islamic terrorists, the USA has reached the same moral level as the enemy engaging in genocide and nuclear warfare to win. The race war between the Japanese and Americans in the Pacific theater of World War II was civilized in comparison. No quarter is given by either side.

Tom Kratman creates a believable, dark future world as seen through the lives of several people. In Germany, nine-year old Petra is sold into slavery to pay the taxes that her parents owe. She is first the companion of a young girl who becomes her friend and protector before being sold into a life of prostitution. Her brother is drafted to serve in the military to serve his oppressors. The device of having Petra reading the diary of her grandmother explains how old Europe has become the victim of an oppressive Islam.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Many muslims, by no means all of whom are extremists, will consider this novel Islamophobic. I definately do not share that view but I do understand it.

The book begins in 2103 AD, in a dystopian future in which the world is split into two warring power blocks, in both of which freedoms and rights which we take for granted have been removed. The Caliphate, an empire which includes continental Europe, is run by Taliban-style Islamofascist extremists who treat the christian minority like dirt. The USA has become a militaristic empire which wages a cold war against the Caliphate and a hot one against Canadian "rebels" (e.g. those who have resisted the forcible annexation of their country) and any other country which might allow Islam a foothold in the Americas.

The story revolves around two victims of the Caliphate's tyranny: Petra, a german girl who is taken from her family and sold into slavery to pay a tax levied on the Christian minority, and her brother Hans, who is conscripted as a Janissary.

One of the few Muslims who shows Petra kindness teaches her to read, enabling her to understand the one family posession she has been able to keep: the diary which her great-grandmother, Gabrielle von Minden, began to keep in 2003 and which explains how the ghastly world Petra is living in came into being.

There are two reasons I do not agree with those who will consider this book Islamophobic. First, although it presents the Islamic dictatorship in the book as a ghastly tyranny, the history in the book also has the United States grossly over-react to Al-Qaeda atrocities with terrible crimes of its own, and there is no suggestion in the book that the author would encourage those actions.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Elliott on March 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read the book in one day, it was just so compelling. The scenes of slavery under Muslim rule were reminiscent of a book I read in the '70's(I think) written by(IIRC) Kyle Onstott, which is why those scenes were so realistic(other people writing the same kind of thing would reinforce the descriptions).

I really got into the characters' heads, and could understand them. The plot moved and didn't get bogged down in details.

The contrast between the US as we are today, and what we (will) become under such an attack is one of my worst nightmares, and I hope, but am not very confident, that we can avoid it. I guess that will require a big change in our current political culture(not very likely at this time).
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By D. Campbell on March 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Caliphate focuses on politics, islam, and the societal clashes that governments and people face without cultural assimilation. There are a lot of different views on how Europe is going to deal with their population integration problems. This one seemed very well thought out, looking at likely long term impacts of making 'easy' or 'comfortable' decisions.

I almost gave the book a 5 star for the way Kratman did his interludes. I loved them. Be prepared to get two stories out of this book. The main story takes place roughly 100 years from now. The interludes are their own story taking place from 2003 through roughly 2020. The two stories are tightly connected and get the reader involved in both. Many authors hop around in time within their stories, but the way Kratman did so was easy to follow and enjoyable as opposed to the normal tedium I experience trying to keep the hops straight.

Whether or not the course of history Kratman describes comes to pass, it should give anyone pause to consider the possibilities he lays out. He seems to ask you to take off the rose colored glasses and weigh decisions based on likelihoods instead of hopes. It's nice to see an unvarnished view that isn't candy coated by today's media. Give people the information and let them make their own decisions.
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