Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law. In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain. Drawing on original interviews with former US military officials and current ISIS fighters, the authors also reveal the internecine struggles within the movement itself as well as ISIS' bloody hatred of Shiite Muslims, which is generating another sectarian war in the region. Past is prologue, and America's legacy in the Middle East is sowing a new generation of terror.
©2015 Michael Weiss & Hassan Hassan (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC
The author adopts the theory that ISIS was conceived and carried out by the minds of a handful of especially capable and opportunistic jihadists, but also introduces the socio-religious context which acquiesced to or bolstered their development
Well done and authoritative, but not clearly structured so challenging to follow. Also, written from the point of view that ISIS is outmanoeuvring the west, but well argued. recommended.
the inability of amazon / audible to run a consistent downloading process from one month to the next. Eventually it will be sorted. Looks like a really interesting book though.
yes if amazon / audible ever get their collective act together about downloading
Dont know. cant hear him / her as techies or suits cannot sort out the download process without changing it every month or two.
fire all the techies and suits.........
"Hard to follow"
Well researched with a lot of great information but hard to follow if you're not familiar with the names and places in Arabic.
"Dunce Hat, Please..."
A very tough book for me to review because I am so ashamedly unfamiliar with the language, geography, vernacular, and apparently even more so with the rapid churning of the collusive state of affairs. Several reviewers mentioned trouble tracking because of the names and language -- Amen. Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, Ibn Yasin...add in the Abu's, Bin's, Ben's Ibn's, Al's...the generational references of who begat who, the-father-of, the-son-of, etc.. It had me in a cloud of confusion, recalling all the begatting in Genesis, or the historical records of Adam to Abraham in 1 Chronicles 1-9. For pages, I felt like Eutychus while Paul spoke on and on (Acts 20:9) ???-z-z-z-z. I was tempted to deploy the decorating tactics of Homeland's Carrie Mathison during one of her manic attacks just to keep track of who's-who/the connections/the global theater/etc. My room would be a spider web puzzle of post-it notes and zig-zagging strings (which is a perfect metaphor). What I'm saying is the subject matter, as written by these two very knowledgeable journalists, is utterly thorough, antecedent, academic--over my head.
Has anyone written a *For Dummies* version? Shame on me; how did I get so behind, so uninformed, so complacent about not understanding what is happening? I did listen twice, but it was futile--like a second session with Rosetta Stone; I hardly felt more fluent. But, I did understand on some level the portent of threat, the hatred, and the intense commitment to whatever the hell the cause is. Dogma/oil/genetics?
The fact that both Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan are top-notch journalists that have the history and inside experience, I imagine would make this book extremely interesting to those with an understanding of this continuing conflict in Syria. I both envy and applaud your knowledge. We should all understand this brutal threat. I am still largely in the dark, but not giving up yet. I wish I could get suggestions, from you that are more informed, of a better beginning to understanding.
"Best book written on ISIS that I have read"
Michael Weiss does an excellent job laying out the case against Assad, explaining the larger picture which encompasses much more than just ISIS. I have read several books on ISIS and this is by far the most substantive I have read. You might have to listen to it twice, there's a lot of substance. Excellent narration, too!
Does very well describing "the road to war" and the complexity to the current threat the world faces. Whether a novice or an expert on this subject area, you will still find the book very useful and informative.
"starting to understand"
This was a good book to know the historical rise of ISIS and who the players are. It was sometimes hard to follow because of all of the names to remember. The organization is barbaric and needs to be stopped. The middle east is turning into a barbaric lawless human rights violating society.
"consise and readable"
Weiss and Hassan have produced a detailed and highly readable book on the history of ISIS. They have done extensive research on the subject not only delving into the archives but conducting lots of interviews with a variety of people such as NATO and regional military officials, intelligence operatives and diplomats. They also state they interviewed defecting Syrian spies and officials and well as Syrians who work for ISIS. Hassan is an expert on tribal and jihadist dynamics and is a researcher at the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi. Weiss is a journalist who was stationed in Iraq.
According to the authors Aba Baker al-Baghdadi created his monotheism and Holy War movement based on his own radical jihadist ideas. The authors report that he had created the basics of his ideology from Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi ideology and its Sharia law. The authors show how ISIS feeds on state dysfunction and Sunni outrage to feed his organization. I wished the authors had provided more in-depth information as to the basic structure and organization chart of ISIS. The authors outline the serious danger ISIS poses to Western civilization and for the average Muslim and other religions of the world in this war of ideology. This is the first time I had listen to Qarie Marshall narrate and he did a good job.
"very informative, but confusing"
it was extremely informative, but it got confusing at times given all of the Arabic names and locales in the Middle East I was unfamiliar with.
"Very Well Researched"
This book provides an excellent historical perspective on the fighting in Syria and Iraq since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"Excellent Book. High degree of difficulty relating to listenability"
Full of excellent insight. Will require a second listen and frequent trips to the Internet. Very insightful for those trying to make sense out of the events in the middles east.
"Needs more context"
I got this book from one of Audibles 2 for 1 sales. The book is worth it at half price, but does suffer greatly from a fault of telling the story through mostly the eyes of a journalist ("some say the earth is center of the solar system while others such a Galileo argue from a different perspective"). Sometimes, a historical viewpoint is needed for the historicity, and a political science viewpoint is needed for current context. I just didn't seem to get at the heart of what is really happening with ISIS and more importantly the why from this book.
Newspapers are great. I subscribed to three of them (WSJ, NYT, and my local paper). They have a flaw. They look at the quotidian (day-to-day) and don't always give the reader the proper historical context or the current relevance. This book was clearly written by a journalist and doesn't provide enough of the why and where from the things are happening and reports the story mostly likely a journalist would and covers mostly the what that has recently happened by interviewing the sources who seem to reinforce his preferred narrative.
(BTW, the book is probably dated today because so much has transpired within the last year or so since the book was published).
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