Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate

Mike Giglio. PublicAffairs, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5417-4235-2
The ISIS caliphate has been dismantled, but the conditions that led to its rise, and the appeal it held for extremists, remain, according to this searing debut from Atlantic writer Giglio. In dispatches from Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey in the years between 2011 and 2017, Giglio reports on Syria’s descent into multisided civil war, the origins of ISIS in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the smuggling of foreign jihadists across the Turkish-Syrian border, and the alliance of American and Iraqi special forces soldiers, Syrian rebels, and Kurdish militias that dislodged ISIS from the territory it held in Iraq and Syria. Giglio vividly describes the experience of coming under machine gun fire in a Humvee (“The feeling this gave me was always the same, both riled and afraid, like a trapped animal taunted by someone rattling its cage”), and his insights into the “strange ecosystem” of journalists, hustlers, and fixers that operate on the edges of war zones will be of interest even to readers who’ve had their fill of battle stories. His warning, meanwhile, that many jihadists and their families escaped ISIS territory before coalition forces moved in takes on frightening new relevance as U.S. troops withdraw from the region. Giglio’s probing, prescient narrative illuminates the global repercussions of a murky conflict. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/24/2019
Release date: 10/15/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-2642-0
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