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ISIS: The State of Terror Hardcover – March 12, 2015
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“By far the most important contribution yet to our understanding of an organization that remains cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding . . . A brisk, readable, and eye-opening account of ISIS’s past, present, and future. This is a book every American should read.” (Reza Aslan, author of No God but god and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
“A timely and urgent book that is essential reading for analysts and policy makers alike. In what is already a cornerstone contribution, Stern and Berger offer the kind of cold-blood analysis so desperately needed on the poorly understood phenomenon that is the so-called Islamic state.” (John Horgan, author of The Psychology of Terrorism)
“The first serious book to analyze the rise of ISIS . . . Stern and Berger write clearly and persuasively and marshal impressive primary research from ISIS’s prodigious propaganda to help explain how ISIS became the dominant jihadi group today. It’s a terrific and important read.” (Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad)
“Stern and Berger pull back the curtain to expose facts and myths about the violent Salafi apocalyptic cult calling itself the Islamic State. A must-read.” (Mike Walker, former undersecretary and acting secretary of the United States Army)
“ISIS emerged in territory occupied by American soldiers, governed by dictatorial regimes, and fought over by sectarian extremists. Stern and Berger provide context for understanding ISIS’s past and considering how its media model may affect future extremist movements.” (Kecia Ali, associate professor religion, Boston University)
“A penetrating analysis . . . The book provides important context for an evolving organization and proto-state that is attempting to rewrite the jihadi playbook.” (Aaron Zelin, Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
“ISIS: The State of Terror is a timely and important history of a movement that now defines the 21st century.” (Sam Kiley, Evening Standard (London))
“This book should be required reading for every politician and policymaker.” (Washington Post)
From the Back Cover
In ISIS: The State of Terror, two of America’s leading experts on terrorism dissect the new model for violent extremism that the Islamic State, known as ISIS, has leveraged into an empire of death in Iraq and Syria, and an international network that is rapidly expanding. Stern and Berger offer a much-needed perspective on how world leaders should prioritize and respond to ISIS’s deliberate and insidious provocations in this compelling, essential account.
“ISIS should be required reading for every politician and policy maker....[Stern and Berger’s] smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations....A nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group.”—Washington Post
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors begin with the beheading of James Foley and subsequent shattering of the “jayvee” reputation of the IS and conclude the introduction with their explanation on the use of ISIS as the acronym throughout the book. Chapter One focuses on Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). The authors detail the humble and surprising beginnings of Zarqawi through his rise to power and pseudo-alliance with Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) in Afghanistan. The authors outline the ideology behind the group and its takfiri (declaring others apostates) ideology. AQI died with its creator and the IS rose from the ashes. Chapter Two chronicles the rise of the so-called state to include theological influences and the role of the Syrian conflict in solidifying the fledgling insurgency with dreams of claiming the mantle of Caliphate.
Chapter Three winds the clock back and details the rise of AQC after the end of the Russian efforts in Afghanistan.Read more ›
-the ideology of the group is thoroughly detailed
-the millenarian aspects of the group as discussed in the book are very helpful and informative
-the social network "marketing strategy" of ISIS is exhaustively covered (almost too much)
-there is a very well-written appendix that will provide readers who do not know much about Islam and its relationship to this particular terrorist group with a good grounding about that topic.
One thing in particular I thought was thought provoking was the proposition that unlike al-Qa'ida, ISIS does not market itself as the avenger of the weak Islamic community (the "ummah"). Rather, ISIS presents itself and its "caliphate" in war-torn Syria and Iraq as an expression of Muslim strength and victory.
But like other reviewers have noted, the book lacks depth on a number of areas:
-There is little discussion of events on the battlefield...in particular, the stunning successes the group enjoyed in 2014.
-The book lacks substantive discussion of key personalities and leaders in ISIS apart from its self-proclaimed "caliph.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger seems likely to be overtaken by events of the ground. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Michael Griswold
Excellent in depth analysis of the originations of ISIS, its current operations and projections for future actions on their part. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Wizard
ISIS State of Terror saw the author of this book on CNN and decided to purchase this book must say I was not let down. Book is packed with information on ISIS. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scott Bailey
Took me a while to get through. Good intro to Islam and terrorism, focused on Middle East.Published 2 months ago by Mark Miller
A very important book. Especially the part on ISIS' use of social media. Great research!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hundreds of years ago, the British Monarchy used to pay pirates to attack Spanish ships. They couldn't attack with British Navy because that could start a war. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kevin Harris
This is a very good book on ISIS, which comprehensively deals with its origins, intents, and ambitions. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Will Jerom
This book provides a solid (and quick) introduction to the history, strategies, goals, and possible future of ISIS. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MMonfort