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The Islamic State: 5 of the Best Books on ISIS to Read Now

Having laid claim to a vast portion of Syria and Iraq, the militant Islamist group ISIS (known alternatively as ISIL or DAESH) has eclipsed al Qaeda to become one of the West’s most worrisome enemies. Even now, the sect’s black-clad warriors are holding an entire population at gunpoint, while continuing to expand the borders of its self-described caliphate.

Where did ISIS come from? What do they want? Why do they do what they do? Here are ten of the best books on ISIS so far to answer these questions and more.

  1. 1
    The Last Girl Book Cover Picture
    The Last Girl Book Cover Picture

    The Last Girl

    by Nadia Murad

    Nadia Murad lived a quiet life in a small village in Northern Iraq with her brothers and sisters, always dreaming of where her future would take her. But when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, everything she knew, and hoped for, came to an end. Islamic State militants slaughtered the people of her village, including her family, and forced her, along with thousands of other girls, into the ISIS slave trade. Nadia was raped and beaten countless times in captivity — a horror that most of us can’t even begin to imagine. She managed to escape and find refuge in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety. Nadia’s moving story must be shared, over and over again, so that the world begins to understand the ongoing genocide in Iraq, and works to change it.
    The Last Girl Book Cover Picture
    The Last Girl Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  2. 2
    No god but God (Updated Edition) Book Cover Picture
    No god but God (Updated Edition) Book Cover Picture

    No god but God (Updated Edition)

    by Reza Aslan

    There are those in the Western world who would lay the blame for Islamist violence on the religion its perpetrators claim to follow: the millions of peaceful muslims around the world would suggest otherwise. Gaining a better understanding of Islam is the best way to understand how twisted ISIS’ version of the religion really is. Scholar Reza Aslan’s No god but God is an approachable history of this influential faith suitable for the casual reader and armchair historian alike.
    No god but God (Updated Edition) Book Cover Picture
    No god but God (Updated Edition) Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  3. 3
    The Terror Years Book Cover Picture
    The Terror Years Book Cover Picture

    The Terror Years

    by Lawrence Wright

    Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, returns to the topic of Islamist violence with The Terror Years: a collection of ten pieces he originally wrote for The New Yorker. Together, these articles present the history of a conflict, its major players, and how we went from fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to ISIS in the Levant.
    The Terror Years Book Cover Picture
    The Terror Years Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  4. 4
    Black Flags Book Cover Picture
    Black Flags Book Cover Picture

    Black Flags

    by Joby Warrick

    Black Flags Book Cover Picture
    Black Flags Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  5. 5
    A Rage for Order Book Cover Picture
    A Rage for Order Book Cover Picture

    A Rage for Order

    by Robert Worth

    A Rage for Order is the first work of literary journalism to track the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. In the style of V. S. Naipaul and Lawrence Wright, the distinguished New York Times correspondent Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits. We meet a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the Qaddafi-regime torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a poetry-writing, dungeon-operating chieftain; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy.
    A Rage for Order Book Cover Picture
    A Rage for Order Book Cover Picture

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