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Publisher's Summary

The Islamic State, known as ISIS, exploded into the public eye in 2014 with startling speed and shocking brutality. It has captured the imagination of the global jihadist movement, attracting recruits in unprecedented numbers and wreaking bloody destruction with a sadistic glee that has alienated even the hardcore terrorists of its parent organization, al Qaeda.

Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger, two of America’s leading experts on terrorism, dissect the new model for violent extremism that ISIS has leveraged into an empire of death in Iraq and Syria, and an international network that is rapidly expanding in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world.

ISIS: The State of Terror traces the ideological innovations that the group deploys to recruit unprecedented numbers of Westerners, the composition of its infamous snuff videos, and the technological tools it exploits on social media to broadcast its atrocities, and its recruiting pitch to the world, including its success at attracting thousands of Western adherents. The authors examine ISIS’s predatory abuse of women and children and its use of horror to manipulate world leaders and its own adherents as it builds its twisted society. The authors offer a much-needed perspective on how world leaders should prioritize and respond to ISIS’s deliberate and insidious provocations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2015 Jessica Stern and J. M. Berger (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Story

Hope the current administration is reading this

This should really be the third book in a series; "Understanding Islamists: Who they are and Where they came from." The first being, The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (beginnings of Osama and Al-Qaeda), followed by Curveball (the false pretense of our Iraq war entry and pertinent to understanding the relation between Al-Qaeda, AQI, and ultimately ISIS), by Bob Drogin.

ISIS: The State of Terror, describes what really is a culminating piece of what was inevitably going to happen based on Islamic History and Belief followed by Al-Qaeda and then the US entry and exit from Iraq.

Mr. Drogin presents a non-partisan review of the US involvement in Iraq and again, inevitably (albeit barely skimming the "Curveball" reason for our entry), what was going to occur after we left prematurely. He also gives an excellent brief account of Islamic History, specifically focusing on the divisions and subsequent fight for legitimacy and reign between the two major sects of Islam.

This work is obviously important based solely off the paucity of information we have about ISIS. There have been a few other works, and there will definitely be more, but the timing of this one is inimitable (i.e., right as we're making plans to counter the mislabeled "JV team").

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Start Learning or Learn More... This is for anyone

Those who want to learn about Daesh (ISIS) - Read this book.
Those who want to vastly improve their understanding of Daesh (ISIS) - Read this book.

This was a great read. The authors took a complex topic and attempted to simplify the information in such a way that the layman might understand. In terms of simplification and establishing an effective breakdown of the information, I believe the authors have succeeded. In terms of making the information accessible to the layman, I feel the beginner would benefit from the information contained within this book, though a more knowledgeable reader will glean immense detail. The nuances expressed in the text pertaining to the differences between al Qaeda in Iraq and Daesh, are intricate and critical to the overall understanding.

The authors also wrap up the text with a phenomenal breakdown of terrorism, salafi practices of Islam, as well as definitions and practices of Jihad in its myriad forms.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The objectivity of the writer is a bit refreshing

loved it. I've had to listen to it a few more times, and each time I pick up something new.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Good, insightful story with excellent narration

First off, Ray Porter is a god among men when it comes to voicing audiobooks. He does a fantastic job with this book, as expected.
The story is easy to follow and engages me as a listener. I believe the authors deliver a very good argument in regards to why ISIS behaves the way it does.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good information well organized...

Any additional comments?

A very good primer on ISIS and the world of Islamic terrorism. It's timely, being the first book on the subject at Audible. Perhaps it lacked a little depth. I would have preferred to hear more about Western efforts to upturn ISIS and counter its magnetic attraction. How does the US undermine ISIS in the psychological battlefield? That's the question I thought went unanswered, at least in detail. Overall, though, very good. I learned quite a few things.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I have a deeper understanding

What did you like best about this story?

The book explains the relationships between terror networks, how they operate and why they operate that way while providing a good yet brief history of the region making further research easier.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book is a first reference for research so the reaction for me is satisfaction in choosing a good start for that research.

Any additional comments?

If you are looking for a good starting point to research mideast terror groups and the politics involved with their rise this is as good a place as any to start.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The first book to take a real look into ISIS

This is one if the first thorough looks into IS and one that will most likely be referenced by all books that follow.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great overview of the ISIS Phenomenon

A great overview of the ISIS phenomenon, focusing on the social aspect and how reactions from governments and tech companies have impacted the modern jihadi phenomenon.

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pretty good depth

Good addition to my overall knowledge base. I wasnt too interested in the Twitter War between IS and AQ but the overall content was very good....excellent appendix as well

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Informative and good flow

Some of the topics covered were difficult to take in with only audio. Overall though very interesting and informative