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The Far Enemy
Why Jihad Went Global

2nd Edition

$30.99 (P)

  • Date Published: April 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521737432

$ 30.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Fawaz Gerges’ book on al Qaeda and the jihadist movement has become a classic in the field since it was published in 2005. Here he argued that far from being an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad against the Christian West, as many misguided political commentators and politicians opined, al Qaeda represented a small faction within the jihadist movement, criticized by other groups who preferred to concentrate on changing the Muslim world, rather than attacking the Far Enemy and making the fight global. In the intervening years, with the advance of the ‘War on Terror’ and the invasion of Iraq, much has changed and, just as Gerges showed, al Qaeda’s fortunes have taken a significant downturn. Revisiting The Far Enemy in this new edition, Gerges demonstrates that not only have the jihadists split ranks, but that voices from within the ultra-religious right, those that previously supported al Qaeda, are condemning its tactics as violent, unethical, and out of accord with the true meaning of jihad. In fact, millions of Muslims worldwide have rejected al-Qaeda’s ideology and strategies and blame Osama bin Laden and his cohorts for the havoc the organisation has wrecked on their communities. Al-Qaeda is now in the wilderness suffering massive erosion of authority and legitimacy in Muslim eyes and facing a fierce revolt from within. As Gerges warns, the next US administration would do well to use political and socio-economic strategies rather than military means to ensure that it stays there.

    • Gerges, seasoned commentator and scholar of the Middle East, explains why al-Qaeda took its war to the West
    • Through personal encounters and interviews with front-line operators, Gerges uncovers deep divides in the jihadist movement and challenges al-Qaeda's monopoly and durability
    • Articulate, penetrating, informed, Gerges' book is the story from the inside, the jihadis account of 9/11
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Praise for the First Edition

    "...a few brave academics have stepped with books that evince a clearsighted vision and solid expertise. Among the best of these is Fawaz A. Gerges's The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global." - Chronicle of Higher Education

    "The title of Fawaz A. Gerges's incisive The Far Enemy refers to the al Qaeda term for the United States and its Western allies, but the book's focus is squarely on the internal divisions and ideological disputes that rent the jihadis during the mid-1990s." - Washington Post Book World

    "The author uses primary Arabic sources and interviews with militants to give a fascinating account of one of the most complex phenomena in the contemporary Middle East. Highly recommended." - Choice

    Suggested reading about Islam and its history, New York Times "Week in Review" section

    "The book provides a remarkable picture of the complexity of the jihad movement in recent decades." - The International History Review

    "The Far Enemy is a significant work and is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the trajectory of jihad movements over the past three decades." - International Journal of Middle East Studies

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: April 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521737432
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the road to September 11 and after
    1. Religious nationalists and the near enemy
    2. The Afghan war: sowing the seeds of transnational Jihad
    3. The rise of transnationalist Jihadis and the far enemy
    4. Splitting up of Jihadis
    5. The aftermath: the war within
    6. The Iraq war: planting the seeds of Al Qaeda's second generation?

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Terorrism and Political Violence
    • Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author

    Fawaz A. Gerges, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
    Fawaz A. Gerges holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence, New York. His books include Jouney of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy (2006) and America and Political Islam: Clash of Interests or Clash of Cultures? (Cambridge, 1999). He was educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics and has previously been a Research Fellow at Harvard University, Massachusetts and Princeton University, New Jersey. He was also a senior analyst and regular commentator for ABC television news. He has written extensively on Arab and Muslim politics, social movements, American foreign policy, and relations between the world of Islam and the Christian West. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Baltimore Sun, The Independent, Al Hayat, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Survival and others. Gerges has been the recipient of a MacArthur, Fullbright and Carnegie Fellowships and his books have been translated into a number of foreign languages.

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