Jason Burke's bestseller "Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam" shows Islamic militancy to be a far broader phenomenon than previously thought, demolishing the myths that underpin the 'war on terror'. Prize-winning journalist Jason Burke's "Al-Qaeda" - now updated with new material on Iraq, Afghanistan and the July 2005 London bombings - is acknowledged to be the most accurate, readable and expert account yet of the complex nature of Islamic extremism. Burke has spent a decade reporting from the heart of the Middle East and gaining unprecedented access to the world of radical Islam. Drawing on his frontline experience of recent events, on secret documents and astonishing interviews with intelligence officers, Taliban foot soldiers, militants, mujahedeen commanders and Osama bin Laden's associates, he reveals the full story of al-Qaeda. "A must-read...Jason Burke's book is the one that will last. It's a triumph". ("Guardian"). "If you read one book about the troubles, make it Jason Burke's "Al-Qaeda"". (Tony Parsons). "Essential reading". (Noam Chomsky). "An indispensable guide to the multidimensional reality of Al-Qaeda". (John Gray). Jason Burke is the South Asia correspondent for the "Guardian". He has reported around the world for both the "Guardian" and the "Observer". He is the author of two other widely praised books, both published by "Penguin: The 9/11 Wars" and "On the Road to Kandahar". He lives in New Delhi.
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Jason Burke is the prize-winning Chief Reporter for the Observer. He has covered the Middle East and Southwest Asia for a decade, and saw many of the key events described in this book at first hand.From Publishers Weekly:
Not many reporters have firsthand experience of terrorist camps, but Burke, chief reporter for London's Observer, achieved it during the 2001 war in Afghanistan. His nuanced investigation into Islamic extremist groups benefits as a result; his depth of knowledge is clear as he paints a complex portrait of al-Qaida and related groups. The outfit often called al-Qaida is, he says, actually a loose amalgam of groups that share a similar worldview: a belief in Islamic fundamentalism and antagonism toward the West. This is not new, but Burke writes clearly, and his descriptions of terror camps and religious schools-even a brief description of a bombing campaign in Afghanistan-make his work more lively and powerful than most of the recent books on the subject. Similarly, he shows that Osama bin Laden is less central to the enterprise than Western leaders think; the Islamist movement is longstanding and widespread: "This movement is growing. Osama bin Laden did not create it nor will his death or incarceration end it." As a result, he argues, the U.S. focus on bin Laden and al-Qaida is misguided and ultimately a waste of time-in fact, he says, it will only create more bin Ladens. Only a battle to "win the hearts and minds" of the Islamic world will effectively counteract the terrorist phenomenon. Unfortunately, Burke fails to address how this might be done, but he's made a strong argument that it is the road to take. Maps not seen by PW.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, London, United Kingdom, 2007. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. Reprint. 385 pages b/w photos index biblio glossary notes - 'Based on careful on-the-ground investigation and penetrating inquiry, this fine study, the most illuminating I know, gives remarkable insight into Islamic militacy, its root causes, its evolution and likely future. It is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the "network of networks" loosely termed al-Qaeda, and its complex interactions both with the West and with the societies it intends to reshape' Noam Chomsky. Bookseller Inventory # 332505