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The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global
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The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Since September 11, Al Qaeda has been portrayed as an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad, against the Christian West. However, as the historian and commentator Fawaz A. Gerges argues, the reality is rather different and more complex. In fact, Al Qaeda represents a minority within the jihadist movement, and its strategies have been vehemently criticized and o ...more
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Cambridge University Press (first published May 9th 2005)
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John
Feb 25, 2008 John rated it it was ok
One thing I learned from the class I'm taking this semester is that political scientists have no freaking clue how to write. What better way to convey complex political / idealogical issues than though hundreds of pages of rambly, chapter-long sentences with unnecessary asides and superfluous footnotes? Better still, repeat yourself copiously in the process! And bring up key, essential players in your narrative with minimal introduction! I've read many books and watched many films about the curr ...more
Aaron
Jun 23, 2017 Aaron rated it really liked it
While this book took me quite a long time to finish - much longer than any book of similar length has taken me - it is not a reflection of its content, but rather the fact that it is a purely academic book which makes for a very dry experience.

Gerges does an incredible job of providing the past, present, and, to some extent, the future of the jihadi movement. Through the use of extensive interviews and primary source documents, he tracks the beginning, rise, stagnation, and ultimate decline of
...more
Luna Selene
Oct 23, 2012 Luna Selene rated it liked it
This book did not lose its points with me because of its content; it defines the rise and fall of (the lesser, external) jihad as a political tool and its influences through interviews with and documents belonging to leaders and cohorts of historically significant groups like Jama'at al-Islamiyya and Al Qaeda in a very frank, open, and interesting (at least to me) manner. It pulls apart the transformation of jihad from the Afghan War to the disastrous relationship between Osama bin Laden and Aym ...more
Cody
Aug 17, 2015 Cody rated it really liked it
Although this book is now considered a bit dated, I would still recommend it for any reader studying al Qaeda, terrorism, and US foreign policy in the Middle East. This book focuses on how al Qaeda attempted to turn jihad from a local struggle to a global one. It's a fascinating story.
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