Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists

Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists

Scott Atran / Oct 16, 2019

Talking to the Enemy Faith Brotherhood and the Un Making of Terrorists Atran explores the way terrorists think of themselves and teaches us at last intelligent ways to think about terrorists Christopher Dickey Newsweek Middle East Editor and author of Securing the Cit

  • Title: Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists
  • Author: Scott Atran
  • ISBN: 9780062020741
  • Page: 272
  • Format: ebook
  • Atran explores the way terrorists think of themselves and teaches us, at last, intelligent ways to think about terrorists Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Middle East Editor and author of Securing the City Talking to the Enemy by Scott Atran is an eye opening and important book that offers readers a startling look deep inside terror groups Based on the author s unprecedent Atran explores the way terrorists think of themselves and teaches us, at last, intelligent ways to think about terrorists Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Middle East Editor and author of Securing the City Talking to the Enemy by Scott Atran is an eye opening and important book that offers readers a startling look deep inside terror groups Based on the author s unprecedented access to and in depth interviews with terrorists and jihadis including Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Taliban extremists, as well as members of other radical Islamic terror organizations Talking to the Enemy provides fresh insight and unexpected answers to why there are people in this world willing to kill and die for a cause A riveting, compelling work in the tradition of The Looming Tower and Terror in the Name of God, Talking to the Enemy is required reading for anyone interested in making the world a safer, secure place for everyone.

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      Published :2019-07-26T16:46:00+00:00

    About "Scott Atran"

      • Scott Atran

        Scott Atran born 1952 is an American and French anthropologist who is a Director of Research in Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University in England, Presidential Scholar at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and also holds offices at the University of Michigan He has studied and written about terrorism, violence and religion, and has done fieldwork with terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists, as well as political leaders.Atran was born in New York City in 1952 and he received his PhD in anthropology from Columbia University While a student he became assistant to anthropologist Margaret Mead at the American Museum of Natural History In 1974 he originated a debate at the Abbaye de Royaumont in France on the nature of universals in human thought and society, with the participation of linguist Noam Chomsky, psychologist Jean Piaget, anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Claude L vi Strauss, and biologists Fran ois Jacob and Jacques Monod, which Harvard s Harold Gardner and others consider a milestone in the development of cognitive science.


    534 Comments

    1. A surprising and courageous inquiry into terrorism, religion, and what they say about our speciesI think the gist of the book was best summarized by Noam Chomsky: “This deeply researched, wide ranging, and very timely study provides a compelling and often surprising account of what lies behind the jihadi phenomenon and draws sensible and thoughtful conclusions about how to respond to it constructively. The investigation is set against the background of a penetrating inquiry into the role of re [...]


    2. In "Talking to the Enemy," social scientist Scott Atran makes an elaborate case for seeking to find common ground with terrorists. His subtitle: "Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)making of Terrorists" tells us, in effect, that humanity is dependent upon faith to generate larger communities (brotherhoods) that will develop enough respect and restraint within themselves not to hurl suicide bombers into crowds populated by other communities (also brotherhoods united by faith, which may or may not be [...]


    3. I bought this book after having read this review from The New Scientist, and found it completely changed my views on terrorism and the role of religion:How to catch the 'jihadi bug'14:15 25 October 2010 Michael BondThe anthropology of terrorism makes for compelling fieldwork. In his quest to understand what makes people kill and die for a cause, Scott Atran - an astute analyst of social, psychological and cultural issues - has met with the Hamas high command in Damascus, Syria, interviewed the p [...]


    4. This book turned my understanding of terrorism and suicide bombers upside down by asking a simple question, implied in the title. If we ask those involved why they do it, what do they tell us? The answers are, on reflection, not that surprising. Crucially terrorists tend to know other terrorists. And they are surprisingly normal people.Reading this in the current climate, of a militarised "war on terror" response, the conclusions are unsettling. Most terrorists, says anthropologist Scott Atran, [...]


    5. Good shortish podcast interview with the author: Scott Atran on Sacred Values, by Social Science Bites.Older reviews:• at Public Radio Int'l (PRI).• at the Guardian.• at New Scientist: How to catch the 'jihadi bug'.Related concept, but not linked to Atran or this book: The Point of Hate, op-ed by Anna Fels at the New York Times.Purchased, but unread.More info, November 2017: the Economist tells me Atran has written an essay exploring “parallels between violent white supremacism and neo-N [...]


    6. This subject is deeply researched, wide ranging, study . And provides a compelling often surprising account of what lies behind the Jihadi phenomenon and draws a sensible and thoughtful conclusion about how we can respond to it constructively. It should be read carefully and thought about. Along the way we also come to a better understanding of the role of religion in contemporary American politics. And we learn just how the new Atheist crusade against religion seems so willfully ignorant about [...]


    7. كتاب قيم لفهم عقلية الإرهابيين، الكاتب بذل جهداً ميدانياً لفهم من يكون الإرهابي وكيف يفكر


    8. IntroductionWhen Scott Atran is asked to summarize his book Talking to the Enemy: Violent Extremism, Sacred Values, and What it Means to Be Human in one sentence, he answers: “People, including terrorists, don’t simply die for a cause; they die for each other, especially their friends” (p.478). Of the many millions “who express support for violence there are only thousands willing to actually commit violence“ (p.58). And those few who are “willing to commit to extremist violence usua [...]


    9. A surprising and courageous inquiry into terrorism, religion, and what they say about our species I think the gist of the book was best summarized by Noam Chomsky: “This deeply researched, wide ranging, and very timely study provides a compelling and often surprising account of what lies behind the jihadi phenomenon and draws sensible and thoughtful conclusions about how to respond to it constructively. The investigation is set against the background of a penetrating inquiry into the role of r [...]


    10. This was a tremendous book with a simple message: That terrorists act for the same reasons we all act, in pursuit of something greater than ourselves. He actually takes the time to talk to the families and friends of terrorists, with an impartial standing that invites candor, not platitudes. He dismantles the American myths that jihadists are the most zealous Muslims, that the families of bombers are proud of their dead sons, or that the war of terror is a war of attrition.Jihadists, specificall [...]


    11. Scott Atran has some interesting research to share, along with a heavy dose of professional chauvinism. This is a book dedicated to the proposition that exposing the social contexts from which violent extremists emerge will ultimately create a means to defeat them. To this end, Atran provides a detailed synopsis of his work with various criminals, terrorists, and their sympathizers (along with the familial and social networks that support them). The great revelation of this research seems to be [...]


    12. In the past when discussing terrorists, my (only partly-joking) observation has always been, "They need a hobby." Well, turns out I was right. Sort of.Scott Atran's basic premise is that jihadis do not become jihadis solely because of religious beliefs, but due largely to social marginalization, depressed economic conditions, and because their friends are doing it. It's kind of an underwhelming revelation, but Atran seems to know his stuff and backs it up with years of field research, candid con [...]


    13. Pretty good once you get past the beginning. Definitely a book I could recommend to a non-academic and definitely one of the first books I would recommend as my "patriot's study guide" -- that is, what I think should be required political reading for Americans.A very good detailed analysis of several concrete terrorist plots. Makes a very convincing (and sorely needed) case for evidence-based policy when it comes to terrorism (and probably violent crime in general). Also very good work on social [...]


    14. Pretty good once you get past the beginning. Definitely a book I could recommend to a non-academic and definitely one of the first books I would recommend as my "patriot's study guide" -- that is, what I think should be required political reading for Americans.A very good detailed analysis of several concrete terrorist plots. Makes a very convincing (and sorely needed) case for evidence-based policy when it comes to terrorism (and probably violent crime in general). Also very good work on social [...]


    15. I just couldn't get through this one. It was an interesting viewpoint, probably the exact sort of things we should read. However, it was more like a textbook than a narrative. It felt like I was having to memorize names and places for a test. The author would find a wider audience if he focused more on the stories and presentation of ideas for thought and discussion. Let me make up an example of what I mean. If a person is named Abu Karim Muhammad al-Jamil ibn Nidal ibn Abdulaziz al-Filistini, c [...]


    16. For me, this is one of the best things I've ever read about the mind-set of people who get sucked into committing terrorist acts. Scott Atran spent many years actually interviewing such people (often in prison cells, in French) and speaking to people who knew them. His observation that most of them are more joined to one another by the football (soccer) teams they root for than by any deep religious convictions speaks volumes to me: young men (usually) who feel powerless against what they view a [...]


    17. Atran provides a great insight into the nature of terrorism in the modern world. He clearly has spent an enormous amount of time in research, both in the field and in the library, offering persuasive arguments that terror emerges from decentralized social groups of friends and family. Those responsible for the Madrid bombings in 2005 and the various bombings in Indonesia get the most focus, but he doesn't neglect the more politically salient topics of Palestine and Pakistan.My review would have [...]


    18. "In a moment of naive epiphany, I felt that if this blossoming young woman could just spend a little time with one of these young men from Gaza neither would need to die. But the wall grows between them each passing day, blocking all human touch."The "terrorist," the latest in a long line of terms constructed to legitimize Our violence to dehumanize the Other. In proper Orwellian fashion, over the last twenty years Our rhetoric has done a complete reversal from Us being divinely driven in the fi [...]


    19. This book takes a different tack from most mainstream terrorim studies works, in that the author actually talks to the people involved in militant activity, which entails going into the communities themselves (in Indonesia, Morocco, Palestine) whence the suicide bombers and other militants emerged, in order to understand better the motives and reasons for such their actions. Atran is a social anthropologist and his takes the view that terrorist actions can only be understood by looking at the so [...]


    20. The best part of this book is the smallest part - Atran's atheistic religious anthropology. The second-best part is the next-smallest: his take on contemporary Islamic sociology. Unfortunately the most tedious parts are also the longest: his travelogues and complex narratives of the birthing of terrorist cells. The book would have been much better with some good editing - it could have been a third shorter, especially since he repeated whole passages almost verbatim in various places - I suspect [...]


    21. This book wasn't an easy read for me. While I found it interesting, it spoke to a subject(Islam) that I'm not very familiar with. I liked the structure, in that in the first few sections the chapters would alternate between Muslim issues and better known classic European and American history issues so I felt like I could somewhat understand the correlation between situations. The last section dealing mostly with religion and religious perceptions, as opposed to militant religious groups, really [...]


    22. So far, this is a great book on the inner reasoning of terrorists and the 'social' or 'communal' aspect of why they fight. This book is somewhat similar to Robert Pape's "Dying to Win" and Marc Sageman's "Understanding Terror Networks" both also highly recommended.Understanding the key relationships between many actual and would-be attackers will also help us understand why these networks are so hard to penetrate. Similar to the family/clan style of fighting favored in Chechnya where one cannot [...]


    23. Atran is a brilliant adventurer and scientist who effortlessly jumps around between road-trip stories in the Khyber Pass during the 1970's to effective explanations of the differences between Hassan Al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. He also tells funny jokes and explains the relevance of their punchlines. When reading this on the subway, I wanted to scream, "That's it!" at random strangers. Worth reading if interesting in evolution, revolution, or International Affairs.


    24. A fascinating read on the processes of a human mind in relation to extremism and morals. Atran is very careful to always talk about the subjects as the human beings they really are, instead of the media's propensity to see "Terrorist" before that. Instead he looks at what makes a person go to that stage of zealot. Definitely if you have an interest in social justice, terrorism, and how we perveive/how they perceive themselves.


    25. I have high regard for Mr Atran, for he is among the leading evolutionarily informed anthropologists publishing today, however, I have higher regard still for a compelling and flowing narrative, which this book doesn't quite attain. It is, though, an important and vital work.


    26. While this book didn't agree with me in some parts, it also made me think about how little we know about other cultures. This lack of information influences our policy, opinions and biases. It's worth reading, especially the first half.




    27. A very interesting take on terrorism. I give it a three strt since I thought that the last 1/3 of the book was kinda slow and coulden't stand up to teh fisrt 2/3.


    28. ترجمة لا تقرأ وتدل للأسف على عدم مراجعة الناشر للنسخة هذا إذا احسنا الظن. كانت نهاية النسخة في القمامة اجلك الله


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