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The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America
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The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Winner of the 2004 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations

From two of the world’s foremost experts on the new terrorism comes the definitive book on the rise of al-Qaeda and America’s efforts to combat the most innovative and dangerous terrorist group ever. Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon trace the growth of radical Islam from its medieval origins and
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Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2002)
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Jerome
Interesting and easy to read. Many books I've read cite this, and the authors worked for Richard Clarke, whose memoir Against All Enemies I've read.

The first half is a crisp, brisk read jammed with vital detail on the history behind radical Islamism. That history, from the Crusades to the Balfour declaration, is ever present before the minds' eye of the terrorists, so it behooves us to know it. These are guys who know how to put together an executive summary. Without a word wasted on horrified e
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Greg
This book is now dated. So much has happened: the invasion of Iraq, the killing of Bin Laden, etc. I can't give it a stellar review because some aspects are very good and others are amateur. The authors lack an understanding and a sensitivity to religion and an understanding of anthropology, so their roots of Islamic terrorism is superficial, as is their final chapter about other violent religious movements. They don't know the difference between messianism and millenarianism. These criticisms a ...more
Katie
Age of Sacred Terror analyzes the connections between radical Islam, terrorism and the “war on terror” as conducted by the United States. Benjamin and Simon centrally position jihad in their analysis of the implications of the rise of radical Islam on the United States. Their argument on jihad traces jihads historical path, its manifestations in recent decades, and its implications on foreign relations, specifically relations between the United States and Muslim countries.
Will Byrnes
There is a lot of history in this dense volume, tracing the roots of Islamic terrorism back many centuries. It deals with other types of terrorism as well. Although I found it interesting, I did not feel an uncontrollable urge to return to it all that much, which accounts, in addition to its length, to the fact that it took me a month to read it.
Carol
This is an excellent recounting of the birth of Al Qaeda and Al Quaeda's message and how it relates to Muslims. In this case, the history is much more strange than any fictional account could be. It is well researched and documented.
It really helps to read this book to understand what is going on with Al Quaeda.
I reccomend this book to everyone.
Gabe
This is a good book for people interested in international relations. It explains the rise of al-Qaeda and radical Islam and provides interesting background from authors who worked for the National Security Council. It is a little biased at times but provides insight into the forces that shape our world.
Carmine
Very good (although dated) book on the philosophy of the internaitonal jihadi movement -- does a good though not always convincing job of connecting it with similar movements from other religions in different eras. A similar book, just as good, is The Looming Tower.
Maria
There is and was a lot I do/did not know about Radical Islam. This book has encouraged me to do more reading on the topic and become more culturally aware of the Middle East and its peoples and thier various faiths.
Chris
A good overview on the origins of al-Qaeda and Islamic militancy. It tries to address other forms of religious terrorism, but doesn't go very far, and it's already somewhat out of date, since it was published in 2003.
David Carroll
Great historical, cited, context of why the Jihadist movement is what it is. Shows the roles of mullahs, politicos, and warriors and why this is really about haves and have nots and always will be.....
Bernie
The first couple hundred pages took a long time to read since they described the beginnings of Islam, but wasn't too bad.
J.R. Ortiz
great read,very interesting
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