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Preview — Jihad Joe by J.M. Berger
Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
by J.M. Berger
They are Americans, and they are mujahideen. Hundreds of men from every imaginable background have walked away from the traditional American dream to volunteer for battle in the name of Islam. Some have taken part in foreign wars that aligned with U.S. interests, while others have carried out violence against Westerners abroad, fought against the U.S. military, and even pl ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Potomac Books
(first published April 30th 2011)
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I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. I was expecting something more polemical, so the book's balance and moderate tone were appreciated. Berger has a very engaging style, and juggles massive amounts of information effectively, staying within a narrow scope. "Jihad Joe" is not an in-depth study of radicalization on all its diverse levels, rather, it examines cases of Americans, who for a wide variety of reasons, chose to engage in jihad, outside of the US, and within. There's an effective tim ...more
AT A TIME when so many books on politics, religion, and world events are little more than puffed-up pamphlets which are simultaneously high on hyper-partisanship and low on facts, J. M. Berger’s Jihad Joe, a treatment of the radicalization and actions of American Muslims who have dedicated themselves to “violent jihad” (the author’s chosen term), is a breath of fresh – and troubling – air. Painstakingly researched and heavily footnoted (the author, an investigative journalist, consulted thousand ...more
Short but to the point. The author writes like a true journalist -- he clearly identifies proof and speculation alike, and clearly lists conclusions as his own. Why do Americans attempt acts of terrorism in and outside the United States? What lessons have U.S. security agencies learned? Who are the main instigators and should we be afraid of further acts of Islamist-based terrorism? The author interviewed American Muslims and traces the origins of radical Islam from the 1970s through 2010. If yo ...more