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Mary Habeck's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Mary Habeck recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Mary Habeck's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Despite President George W. Bush's assurances that Islam is a peaceful religion and that all good Muslims hunger for democracy, confusion persists and far too many Westerners remain convinced that Muslims and terrorists are synonymous. In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the recent bombings in London, an unprecedented amount of attention has been directed toward Islam and the Muslim world. Yet, even with this increased scrutiny, most of the public discourse regarding Islam revolves around the actions of extremist factions such as the... more
Recommended by Mary Habeck, and 1 others.

Mary HabeckI can recommend everything that Khaled Abou El Fadl has ever written. He has written great books on tolerance in Islam. His view is that extremists have hi-jacked his religion, and he presents an alternative, tolerant version of Islam. There is an argument going on in Muslim communities about whether or not a reformation, a revival of Islam is needed. He is the person to discuss this – he is... (Source)

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David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, a ground-breaking theorist whose ideas "are revolutionizing military thinking throughout the west" (Washington Post). Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the Surge," now recognized as a dramatic success.
In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern...
Recommended by Mary Habeck, Mary Kaldor, and 2 others.

Mary HabeckKilcullen writes from both a theoretical and an experiential point of view. (Source)

Mary KaldorCounter-insurgency, according to Kilcullen, is about protecting people and about separating the accidental guerrillas from the real Al-Qaida people. (Source)

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Understanding Terror Networks

For decades, a new type of terrorism has been quietly gathering ranks in the world. America's ability to remain oblivious to these new movements ended on September 11, 2001. The Islamist fanatics in the global Salafi jihad (the violent, revivalist social movement of which al Qaeda is a part) target the West, but their operations mercilessly slaughter thousands of people of all races and religions throughout the world. Marc Sageman challenges conventional wisdom about terrorism, observing that the key to mounting an effective defense against future attacks is a thorough understanding of the...

Recommended by Mary Habeck, and 1 others.

Mary HabeckMarc Sageman, on the other hand, says al Qaeda is a loose network, small groups of guys hanging out, not in the pursuit of an objective or a political goal but just satisfying the demands of their small social network even if that includes carrying out acts of terror. (Source)

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Inside Terrorism

Bruce Hoffman's Inside Terrorism has remained a seminal work for understanding the historical evolution of terrorism and the terrorist mindset. In this revised edition of the classic text, Hoffman analyzes the new adversaries, motivations, and tactics of global terrorism that have emerged in recent years, focusing specifically on how al Qaeda has changed since 9/11; the reasons behind its resiliency, resonance, and longevity; and its successful use of the Internet and videotapes to build public support and gain new recruits. Hoffman broadens the discussion by evaluating the potential... more
Recommended by Mary Habeck, and 1 others.

Mary HabeckThe Hoffman is a terrific introduction to the issue of terrorism. It is a foundational book for anyone who wants to understand terrorism and the War on Terror. (Source)

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A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

The Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two...

Bryan CallenI love [this author]. (Source)

Mary HabeckThis is a fantastic account of the origins of al Qaeda, the individuals who laid the foundations of the organisation and why they carried out 9/11. (Source)

Peter TaylorIf anybody wishes to understand what Al-Qaeda is, where it came from and what it is trying to do, I think that this is the key book to read. (Source)

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