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Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger Security International) Hardcover – May 20, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0313348471 ISBN-10: 0313348472

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Product Details

  • Series: Praeger Security International
  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313348472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313348471
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,947,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Abigail R. Esman is an unusually talented writer.... Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West should be on the nightstand of anyone seeking to understand the world around them and how quickly it is changing. --forbes.com

A gripping account of the threat posed to the global community by radical Islam. [...] Esman issues a challenge to the West. I issue another: Go out and get [her] compelling book.

--The Investigative Project on Terrorism

An "elegiac, insightful and sweeping new book...a profoundly moving, personal account"  --Robert Spencer, JihadWatch

• Is the only book that carefully examines the changes Muslim immigration has stimulated in European/Western culture since 1990, measuring the influences and effects not only of Muslim immigrants, but also of the European/Western response

• Reveals little-known truths about Muslim society and the lives of Muslim families in the Western world

• Uses events in the art world as a lens through which the rest of society can be viewed, bringing new insights to the issues—and possible solutions

• Includes never-before-published interviews with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, who worked with director Theo van Gogh on the film Submission and was forced into hiding after Van Gogh was assassinated

• Includes interviews with experts and government officials and information from intelligence and government reports

• Details important interactions between the author and key figures in the international struggle to resolve the current "clash of civilizations"

"Her book should be on the nightstand of anyone seeking to understand the world around them and how quickly it is changing. … It is about art and feminism and terrorism and politics and Esman pulls it off brilliantly."



"A new book by Abigal R. Esman, who has lived in Holland until now, is an eye opener. … I strongly recommend it to you. It should be required reading at the Israeli Foreign Ministry."



"This book is a wake-up call not just to the governments of Europe, but also to that of the United States….Go out and get Abigail Esman's compelling book…"


The Investigative Project on Terrorism

"… elegiac, insightful and sweeping new book … It's a profoundly moving, personal account of how the stealth jihad has advanced in the Netherlands over the last decade and more, written by someone who was in the center of it all."


Jihad Watch

"… powerful and sobering book …"


Human Events

"…Esman offers a clear and powerfully evocative account of the process whereby Islamist political agitators, violent Muslim criminals, and Muslim terrorist idealogues are, step by step, bring about the demise of a Western democracy."


Middle East Quarterly

Book Description

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, America and its allies pledged to spread democracy throughout the Muslim world, and to secure its place and future in the West. But have they really succeeded in defeating jihad?

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By flaviusvegetius on July 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book combines a series of personal portraits, for example of the murdered Dutch artist Theo van Gogh and the Somali-Dutch activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with a historical survey of Islam in Holland and the Dutch reaction to it. Esman knows the subject extremely well, both from personal experience and from years of study. Her thesis, that the Dutch "multicultural" approach to Islam ultimately failed, and indeed undermined the liberality of its culture as a whole, is well argued and supported. Esman places the Dutch experience with growing Islamic fundamentalism into a global context, and is especially good at tying the issue to the challenges facing the United States. Esman is very even-handed in her descriptions, and delves into her subject deeply, but she does not let this fairness interfere with her passionate defense of individual freedom and her courageous critique of fundamentalist Islam, indeed of political Islam as a whole. As a college professor, I would not hesitate to assign this book to a graduate class, but the writing is clear and accessible, and it is an excellent read. Anyone interested in current events should read this book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Reader on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Esman documents in detail the rise of radical Islam in Holland, and shows how Holland's response has led to the loss of the democratic process in the most democratic of European states. She also draws a clear parallel between that country and this United States, in a highly readable mix of personal reminiscences and political observations.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sam Vaknin on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Radical State" is a terrifying account of how militant Islam ended up transmogrifying its victims, casting them in its own morbid and grotesque shape as they strove to evade its pernicious influence and the violence that permeates its culture. Victims of abuse often end up being abusers and the erstwhile genteel and tolerant Netherlands - the focus of this study of infectious Islamic fanaticism and xenophobia - is no exception: following a string of murderous attacks by Muslims, the Dutch reacted with the curtailing of civil liberties and with a wave of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim measures. In one fell swoop, Holland, this bastion of liberalism, democracy, and tolerance has become the darling of the European far-right.

A guilt-ridden Europe has paid a dear price for its colonial transgressions: it let in 20 million Muslims, carriers of a civilization so alien to the West that it constitutes a clear and present danger to its very survival. Radicalism, militancy, fanaticism, anti-individualism, misogynism, and anti-Western sentiments are rife among these aliens and immigrants. It is nothing short of a fifth column and a backdoor to the great centers of Western power, such as the USA. Muslims make suave use of Western civil rights and reflexive multiculturalism and political correctness to further their agenda: a hostile takeover, not an amicable merger.

The author offers a blood-curdling account based on first-hand observations from the frontline of the clash of civilizations. Replete with portraits, interviews, transcripts of conversations, erudite analyses of news, a smattering of historiosophy, and incisive descriptions of conflicts followed by nefarious compromises this is one of the most frightening tomes I have read of late.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By loseyateefa on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ms. Esman is an award winning author and journalist based in New York and the Netherlands. This is her first book on this topic on which she has published many papers and articles.

I've read countless books on Islam, its history, its threats, its fruits, but this is my first long review.

Ms. Esman's writing style made me feel as though I were in her Dutch apartment; warm, inviting, festive. That helped balance the seriousness of the topic and the angst between the lines. The book explains how today's Islamic penetration of European society is not a "Johnny come lately." She expertly explains intricacies of European thought, history and culture that are unknown to us Americans. Sure, there's lots of Muslims all over Europe and they're all raising a stink today, but how did it get this way? I had to read this book slowly to grasp these new ideas and thoughts. And it was a slow read because the European setting is foreign to this old southern belle. Interestingly though, the book takes you to the Netherlands like a good fiction read. I could practically smell the coffee and hear the sounds on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. I hate to keep harping on how slowly I digested this book, but what I have come to realize is that a relationship formed between us during the process. You don't get to know a person in a few hours, so I learned to savor this rich cultural experience and found it unique among my reading experiences.

Particularly compelling was the heart wrenching depiction of the murder of Theo Van Gogh. I knew a bit of his story, but Ms. Esman resurrected him and honored the loss of his life with the seeds of courage and truth.
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