- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Born into a spiritually ambiguous family (his parents are nonpracticing Jews who follow the "Infinite Way"), Gartenstein-Ross grew up in the 1980s, in Ashland, Ore., a bucolic, posthippie paradise with a live-and-let-live ethic. Spiritually adrift through his teens, he discovers Islam through a classmate at Wake Forest University. Gartenstein-Ross—young and searching, like so many Americans of his socioeconomic class—quickly falls under the spell of fiercely committed Muslims. He begins working for al Harman, a radical Islamic charity that would eventually be linked to al-Qaeda, and soon starts a simultaneous process of being drawn deeper into the world of radical Islam and being repulsed by its brutal realities. Gartenstein-Ross fights an inner battle between his idealism, shaped by his socially conscious if somewhat scattered liberal upbringing, and his sense of the growing gap between his personal notion of Islam and the mounting list of rules and limitations its practice entails. This would seem compelling stuff, but throughout the story seems blunted. Even the chapters near the end that deal with Gartenstein-Ross's role as an informer for the FBI after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, lack tension and real insight into the dilemma faced by so many cut adrift in Western secular culture. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gartenstein-Ross reveals how widening doctrinal tensions are dividing twenty-first-century expressions of Islam in this memoir of his journey into and out of the faith. Raised by freethinking Jewish parents in a world of former hippies, Gartenstein-Ross finds himself pondering ultimate questions after two brushes with death. Friendship with a progressive Shiite Muslim offers answers. Gartenstein-Ross therefore converts. But both he and his Shiite friend subsequently encounter--and then cross over--the chasm separating moderates from radical orthodoxy. Gartenstein-Ross even works for a Muslim charity diverting funds to terrorists. After eventually turning away from the group hatreds and anti-intellectualism of radical Islam, Gartenstein-Ross embraces Christianity--and becomes an FBI informant. To his great joy, he subsequently discovers that his Shiite friend has likewise turned away from radicalism and has returned to moderate Islam. For readers trying to understand Muslims on both sides of the radical-moderate divide, Gartenstein-Ross' story will be an eye-opener. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
The title of the book might be a little misleading. The author didn't exactly spend a year inside a radical Islamic sect. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Alex Underwood
Lost soul. Intelligent but no common sense. Painful to read religious analysis. He tries to analyse intellectually but it's all based on belief which cannot be analyzed. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by Smiley
I'm a Christian, so if I want to read books on Christianity, I certainly don't select a title like "My Year Inside Radical Islam". Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by basicchristian
I highly recommend this book. Easy to read, candid and thought provoking. This book is certainly worth both time and money. Read morePublished on September 27, 2012 by reader
I have read many books on Islam and have enjoyed this one because of the author's perspective. I continue to wonder why someone would embrace Islam after reading the Koran and/or... Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Although the author flirted with radical islam, he was only able to speak of his experience, which to me was nothing major. Really more of a warning. Read morePublished on February 4, 2011 by The Professor
Daveed's conversion to Islam and slow radicalization is a classic scenario of cult absorption. He's attracted to Islam by a Left wing friend at Wake Forest, and paradoxically his... Read morePublished on November 12, 2009 by J. Dooley
The author was brought up in the hippie enclave of Ashland, Oregon, by liberal Jewish parents who followed the New Age philosophy of Joel Goldsmith. Read morePublished on March 10, 2009 by Midasin
The author, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, mentioned in "My Year Inside
Radical Islam" that, at one point, he was mildly embarrassed when
he had to explain his religious... Read more