From Publishers Weekly
This sweep of the history of Islamic extremism suffers from a lack of focus and a failure to confront complex questions. Murphy, a military historian, covers a lot of ground, beginning his story with the birth of the prophet Muhammad in A.D. 571 and ending with the Sept. 11 attacks and the U.S.-led war on terrorism in Afghanistan. But most of the book looks at the 20th century's sporadic outbreaks of anti-West violence. All too often this account feels like a list of atrocities, without interpretation and context. In just a few pages, for example, Murphy jumps from the rise of Nasser in Egypt to the creation of the Turkish state to the rule of the Shah in Iran. He doesn't delve in any depth into the conditions, whether internal or external, that led to today's Islamic militancy. In his epilogue, Murphy further fails to explore the quandary of where the U.S. campaign should go next, yet repeatedly cheers it on making his book feel like a patriotic high school history textbook.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"...a strong blend of history and social analysis..." -- The Bookwatch, December 2002
"An in-depth look at global Islamic terrorism..." -- Indianapolis Star
"If it were up to me, it would be mandatory reading in every newsroom in America." -- Bookviews.com June 2002
"There are many books in print about Islam. If I were to buy just three, [this] would be the first." -- Robert K. Dorman,
"To say that this history of Islamic terrorism is timely would be something of an understatement ... mandatory reading." -- Dallas Morning News
"a comprehensively sweeping and revealing account of the historical origins and current threats posed by global Islamic terrorism." -- Washington Times, December 29, 2002
"serious academic contribution to the revealing of the intricate and leapfrogging process of the transformation of Islam into Islamism." -- -e-Extreme, Spring 2003