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Archive for 'Book Review'

Kamel Sachet and Islamism in Saddam’s Security Forces

This is a cross-post by Kyle Orton
Book Review: The Weight of a Mustard Seed: The Intimate Life of an Iraqi Family During Thirty Years of Tyranny (2009) by Wendell Steavenson
Wendell Steavenson’s The Weight of a Mustard Seed—the title drawn from a verse of the Qur’an about the difference between attaining heaven and hell—comprises five years of research [...]

All you ever wanted to know about Islam but were afraid to ask: Maajid Nawaz and Sam Harris

Islam and the Future of Tolerance comprises a dialogue between Sam Harris, well known for his critical take on Islam, and Maajid Nawaz, the cofounder of Quilliam.  The starting point is a familiar one – Harris sympathises with Nawaz’s reforming instinct but maintains that Islam is not really a religion of peace and that the [...]

Dear Infidel

Tamim Sadikali’s Dear Infidel explores the dynamics of two British Muslim families, cousins, as they prepare for Eid ul-Fitr and look back on the events which have shaped them. I found it both absorbing and unsettling.
Aadam, a software developer, is preoccupied with Iraq and the War on Terror (the novel is set in 2004).  Initially I [...]

Rise of the Political Technologists

This is a guest post by James Snell
Review: Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
For a generation such as mine, which attained political consciousness after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet system in the last century, it can sometimes seem strange that the iron fist of [...]

Ignorant, Erroneous, Unjustified

Book Review:
Owen Jones, The Establishment: And how they get away with it, (Allen Lane, 2014).
Owen Jones, the Oxford-educated left-wing Guardian columnist, has written a book about the establishment. For Jones, the establishment comprises anyone he does not like. Its main activity is to conspire against the working class.
Some of his claims are simply startling. For example, he [...]

Eichmann’s Fanaticism

Book Review
Bettina Stangneth, Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) 608pp.
When I first became aware of Bettina Stangneth’s new book on Eichmann, I rolled my eyes and asked myself a question: how much of the book is really about Hannah Arendt?
This cynicism is not unfounded. The main [...]

Jamie Bartlett: The Dark Net

The Dark Net opens with an account of a chilling website, ‘Assassination Market’.  Here you are invited to predict the time of death of well known public figures, with the promise of a cash jackpot if you guess right. But – would it just be a guess?
Much else lurks in the underbelly of the Net, [...]

On Slave Reparations: A response to Boonin: 2. Recipients and beneficiaries

This is the second post in a series of three responding to the arguments made in favour of reparations for slavery by David Boonin in his book, Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions. The first post can be seen here.
As I commented in my last post, Boonin argues that “the U.S government has [...]

On Slave Reparations: A response to Boonin: 1. Causation

In 2011 Cambridge University Press published philosopher David Boonin’s book, Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions. Chapters 2 and 3 of the book deal with the idea that America owes slave reparations to its black population. In 2001 the conservative commentator David Horowitz wrote Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea [...]

A journey through Twenty-First Century antisemitism

Review by Karl Pfeifer
Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism, by Ben Cohen
This well-edited volume contains selected thought-provoking articles by Ben Cohen, written in this century. His subject is the crude, violent “Bierkeller” antisemitism and the polite, modulated, ostensibly reasonable antisemitism, called nowadays “anti-Zionism” and so often expressed in the “progressive” [...]