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Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam Paperback – December 4, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Anthony Lewis Sacred Rage is must reading -- and fascinating reading -- for all those who want to understand the fanatical violence of the Middle East.

Roger Mudd If ever there was the right book on the right subject for the right readers at the right time, Sacred Rage is it.

Brian Jenkins terrorism expert, the Rand Corporation For Americans trying to understand the campaign of terror, for leaders formulating Middle East policy, for anyone interested in a gripping story of religious fervor, political intrigue, and ruthless violence, Robin Wright's book is a must. It reads like a novel. It informs better than any book I have seen on this subject.

Houston Chronicle No one has covered the terrorist bombings as Robin Wright does, including the origin and larger political and ethnic context in which they took place...No popular account contributes more to our understanding than Sacred Rage.

Marvin Kalb former chief diplomatic correspondent, NBC News A real public service. Robin Wright knows her subject and writes about it with style and substance.

The Kansas City Star Robin Wright manages, against all odds, to get a fix on a phenomenon that is complex, elusive, and kaleidoscopic. Most impressive, however, is her ability to assess the situation with a clear eye, an objective attitude, and enormous intelligence.

About the Author

Robin Wright is chief diplomatic correspondent for the Los Angeles Times in Washington. She has reported from over 130 countries for CBS News, The Washington Post, and The Sunday Times of London. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant and a National Magazine Award, she has also written for The New Yorker and has been a fellow at Yale, Duke, Stanford, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Updtd W/New Chapters ed. edition (December 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743233425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743233422
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Wright has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, TIME magazine, The Atlantic, The Sunday Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, CBS News and many others.
Wright has also been a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Yale, Duke, Stanford, the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

She is the recipient of the United Nations Correspondents' Association Gold Medal for coverage of international affairs. The American Academy of Diplomacy selected Wright as the journalist of the year for her "distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs." She also won the National Press Club award for diplomatic reporting, the National Magazine Award for her reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas Press Club Award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initia¬tive" for coverage of African wars. She was the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

She has been a television commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and MSNBC programs, including "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "This Week," "Nightline," the PBS Newshour, "Frontline," "Charlie Rose," "Larry King Live," "Washington Week in Review," "The Colbert Report," and HBO's "Real Time."

Wright is the author of "Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East" (2008), which The New York Times and The Washington Post both selected as one of the most notable books of the year. She was the editor of "The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and U.S. Policy" (2010), which brought together 50 of the world's top Iran experts. Her other books include "The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran" (2000), which was selected as one of the 25 most memorable books of the year by the New York Library Association, "Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam" (2001), "Flashpoints: Promise and Peril in a New World" (1991), and "In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade" (1989).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Middle Eastern terrorism almost became white noise after hostage taking, embassy bombings, hijackings, and other violent acts lost their novelty. That changed, of course, when the volume was cranked way up on September 11, 2001.
There were those who anticipated the crescendo long before it sounded. Los Angeles Times correspondent Robin Wright covered the Iranian revolution, the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, and other regional violence and issues in the Eighties. She eloquently documented these events and their larger meaning in her seminal work, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, in 1985. Yet in attention span-challenged United States--even among those who read Sacred Rage--the spectacular attacks 16 years later still seemed to come as a complete shock.
Many books on Islamism were updated after September 11. The revised editions often consisted of rehashed material with new introductions and a few topical chapters tacked onto the end.
This is not the case with the trade paperback version of Sacred Rage. In fact, a very good book has achieved near greatness. Author Robin Wright's groundbreaking exploration of the rise and spread of Islamic fundamentalism does more than give tremendous context to what happened years later in Washington and New York. In a sense, the diverse material now coalesces as Wright explores the recent trend towards democracy among the same militants whose terror she covered in the Eighties. The recent edition even offers plausible solutions to conflicts between the West and the Middle East; glimmers of hope even manage to appear now and again, which should be counterintuitive.
The new chapters that involve Osama bin Laden and his view of the future are striking and fit in naturally with the other material.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
At first glance, I figured that this would be just some anti-Islamic ranting by some silly Western infidel. (What would you expect with such a title and cover photo?) Frankly, I was surprised and impressed with what I read.
The tone seemed very inviting to me, and probably to all others interested. Page by page, Robin puts forth great detail with seemingly no pressure to please any point of view.
However, she did maybe commit an overkill on the "fundamentalist extremist militant fanatic" vocabulary. But still, her tone forces the reader to accept the terms literally, and not with the hate-filled spirit as seen in other publications.
I recommend those interested in the topic to check this one out.
God bless, and strive for peace and justice.
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Format: Paperback
In todays geo-political climate , its hard to get balanced views on an issue that has touched us all deeply in the past year . Passions run high and impassioned and reactionary responses from many quarters make the subject matter difficult to dissect , let alone understand and digest .
While written in the 80's and covering mainly events occuring from the birth of Islam to the 80's , I think the book is still very much applicable in the present day context . It will shed light on why we are seeing a virtual groundswell of antagonism toward the West and all things Western from our Middle east bretheren . Additional chapters on recent events were also helpful in updating the information up to present day .
You never get the feeling that the author has taken sides but this in no way translates into an academic lack of passion she feels for her subject . The book basically approaches the subject matter from the standpoint of trying to understand the roots of this groundswell but leaves the reader with ample room to formulate their own conclusions .
For the armchair political scientist interested in current affairs .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sacred Rage covers mostly recent history in the Middle east, from the 1980s forward. But this is the time period of the rise of militant Islam which this book seeks to address. It covers most of the Islamic countries, their leaders and their dissidents.
The book talks of the many terrorists attacks and their reasons, the perpetrators and the affects. Has the U.S. position in the Middle East hurt our standing? What has our military done in the Middle East in the last 20 years? How did the U.S. Governments miscalculations hurt us in Islamic eyes? What has Iran's role in world terrorism been? What are the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims? Why do the Middle Eastern countries and people hate the west so much? For some insights and answers to these and many more questions, read this book.
This book goes a long way to explaining the many questions just asked. It explores the sometimes strained relations among the countries of the Middle East with each other. How do Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia get along? This book is insightful and provocative. I recommend it as a start to understanding what has been happening in our world in the last quarter of a century.
This book is a good starting place.
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Format: Paperback
This new edition chronicles many of the militant Islam uprisings during the 1980s and more recently focuses on bin Laden. The major characters, victims and militants are well descibed. The author states right off that she is neither historian nor foreign policy expert, but rather uses narrative and interview. Unfortunately the motivations of the militant groups are often glossed over. The heinous actions of terrorist groups and their hatred of the US requires more analysis of the American behaviors and foreign policies that are anathema to so many. The growth of such groups in the Occupied territories, together with US complicity in Israeli violations of human rights and international law is a glaring omission for such an important issue.
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