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Caliphate Mass Market Paperback – February 23, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 217 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. He has practiced law in southwest Virginia. In addition to Caliphate, Baen has published his novels, A State of Disobedience, A Desert Called Peace and its sequel Carnifex, and three collaborations with John Ringo in the Posleen War series, Watch on the Rhine, Yellow Eyes and The Tuloriad.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133422
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book while on a trip to the US several years ago, simply because it takes place in the country I grew up in, Germany. Something made me want to find out in what way an American soldier who spent a good deal of time in the Middle East would describe my fellow countrymen, and boy was I in for a surprise.
At first I thought, ok, this story takes place a hundred years or so in the future, but then came the flashbacks and their central character Gabrielle whose personal story starts back in the early years of the 21st century. Without giving away too much of the plot, Gabrielle is one of the countless Germans who think that Germany owes the rest of the world forever for the thousand years between 1933 and 1945. She therefore supports multiculturalism and, of course, the idea that Islam is the religion of peace.
Like a lot of contemporary Germans she ignores all the warning signs that come along with mass immigration from Islamic countries, and she keeps her faith. Until the bitter end.
Before writing this, I took a look at all the one star reviews for this novel, and everything that can be found in there can also be found in today's speeches, texts and books by German politicians or in German newspaper articles in general. As far as I am concerned, these people are just closing their eyes from all the plainly visible things that are going on in Europe today. We have immigrants from all parts of the world, and especially the people who come from Asian countries are well respected over here, they are eager to find well paid jobs, learn our language and become parts of our society. Not the case with the overwhelming majority of immigrants from Islamic countries.
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