The Mind of the Islamic State by Robert Manne | Black Inc.

The Mind of the Islamic State

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About the author

Robert Manne

Robert Manne is emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University. His recent books include On Borrowed TimeMaking Trouble: Essays Against the New Complacency, and The Words that Made Australia (as co-editor). …

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Praise for The Mind of the Islamic State

‘If you want to understand how it all began, this is an essential read: a deep dive into how the ideologues behind salafi jihadism shaped the global menace that we now know as Islamic State.’ —Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent for the Guardian

‘In The Mind of the Islamic State Robert Manne has given us a crystal clear guide to jihadist thought: why they do what they do and why they believe what they believe. Essential reading for anyone interested in terrorism and how it has evolved, this concise but thorough study takes one on a rich and fascinating journey of ideas, introducing a rogue's gallery of beguilingly dark characters. The Mind of the Islamic State is intellectual history at its most vital. The stakes could not be higher.’ —Mark Danner, author of Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War and Stripping Bare the Body


‘It is, almost certainly, the most challenging and important work he has done in a long career as a public intellectual.’ —Paul Monk, Weekend Australian

The Mind of the Islamic State is an important, eye-opening book, and after reading it, at last, I have reached new insights on the developments that led to the creation of the Islamic State. It includes much information about central figures—most of whom are unfamiliar to the Western educated reader—as well a serious, responsible analysis of the origins of these extremist factions and the reason for their ascent to power. Oftentimes, books that are written close to the events they discuss tend to have a very short shelf life; however, Manne’s book has the advantage of displaying an in-depth exploration of the ongoing dangerous radicalization within Muslim society. This is, in fact, the critical test for a valuable historical book, which The Mind of the Islamic State passes easily.’ —Shlomo Biderman, professor, Tel Aviv University