Book Notes

Culture and Conflict in the Middle East

While serving with the United States Army in Iraq, this reviewer shared an insightful conversation with two local women who suggested that I stay in the country after my tour of duty ended. “Yet where would I live?” I asked. “With us, you can join the al-Joubouri tribe,” said the first woman. “No, live with us, the al-Tikritis,” insisted the seco...    read more 

The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam

Sidney H. Griffith describes this book as "a general introduction" to the study of "Christian intellectual life in the caliphate." Griffith's treatment of the Christian apologetic literature of this period seeks to be the comprehensive product of twenty-five years of research and is a testament to his scholarly industry. He explains that "[t]he title of the ...    read more 

Soldiers at Peace: Veterans and Society After the Civil War in Mozambique

With an ever-growing number of African countries being ravaged by civil war and facing the difficult challenges of reintegrating combatants in post-conflict societies, Jessica Schafer’s book, Soldiers at Peace: Veterans and Society After the Civil War in Mozambique, about the experiences of veterans in Mozambique, is an important and relevant case study. ...    read more 

Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan

The famous military theoretician, Carl von Clausewitz, remarked that war is never final. “The defeated … often considers the outcome merely as a transitory evil, for which a remedy may still be found in political conditions at some later date.” Soon after its rapid defeat in the Fall of 2001, many of the Taliban fled to Pakistan while others melted bac...    read more 

The Trouble With Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working

In recent years, the spread of radical Islam in African nations has made the continent a major front in the global war on terrorism. To combat this threat, the U.S. Department of Defense is establishing a new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to unify, not only defense efforts on the continent, but the nations humanitarian efforts in Africa as well. Once at fu...    read more 

Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class

Can one have nationalism without nationalists? This is the question Keith David Watenpaugh poses in his book Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class, an in-depth examination of the circumstances of Arab middle-class modernism at the close of the Ottoman Empire. Focusing on the city of Aleppo in Nort...    read more 

The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to Al-Qaeda

Jerrold M. Post, an expert on political psychology, sets out to explore what leads individuals to turn to terrorism in The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to Al-Qaeda. Throughout the course of the text, Post persuasively argues that, unlike some of history’s most infamous mass murders, terrorists are not insane. He skillfu...    read more 

Londonistan

On January 6, 2008 Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, Anglican bishop of Rochester, England, published a New Year’s warning to his countrymen in the Sunday Telegraph, lamenting how Islamic extremists have established “no-go” areas in cities across Britain, places where Christians and other non-Muslims do not feel safe walking the streets. Needless to say, his admo...    read more 

Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil

As the world’s thirst for oil remains unquenched and geopolitical volatility in the Middle East escalates, the global oil industry is increasingly turning its attention to West Central Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. Recent advances in deep water drilling technologies and close proximity to the West has turned what was once viewed as a backwater into an ever m...    read more 

The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad

Over the past several years Walid Phares has written a trilogy of books that collectively provide a set of intellectual armor for civilized societies engaged in the War against Islamic Terrorism. He has, in short, fortified liberal democratic resolve. InFuture Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against the West, published in 2005, he delineates the formation of Is...    read more