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A year ago, few people had heard of ISIS-- today, they are a major terrorist threat. Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide in A year ago, few people had heard of ISIS-- today, they are a major terrorist threat. Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide insights by answering the basic questions we still don't have the answers to; Who are they? Where did they come from? How are they so successful, so quickly? How can they be stopped? By embedding himself behind enemy lines, Hall provides a riveting narrative based on firsthand experience and personal interviews. He goes beyond the vicious jihadis, to reveal a generation of chaos, and uncover a volatile region engulfed in turmoil. Hall reveals why ISIS is a problem that will define the Middle East - and the West - for decades to come.


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A year ago, few people had heard of ISIS-- today, they are a major terrorist threat. Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide in A year ago, few people had heard of ISIS-- today, they are a major terrorist threat. Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide insights by answering the basic questions we still don't have the answers to; Who are they? Where did they come from? How are they so successful, so quickly? How can they be stopped? By embedding himself behind enemy lines, Hall provides a riveting narrative based on firsthand experience and personal interviews. He goes beyond the vicious jihadis, to reveal a generation of chaos, and uncover a volatile region engulfed in turmoil. Hall reveals why ISIS is a problem that will define the Middle East - and the West - for decades to come.

30 review for Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charity Andrews

    What can I even say? Benjamin is a reporter that has been in the trenches and literally seen the things that ISIS is doing. What he is thinking by going over there, I have no idea!!!! But I will say, this is one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to read. My heart breaks. Not just because of the mass killings, thousands upon thousands of children warriors that are completely brainwashed and the same amount of women/children that are sex slaves. No. My heart breaks because their hearts are so empt What can I even say? Benjamin is a reporter that has been in the trenches and literally seen the things that ISIS is doing. What he is thinking by going over there, I have no idea!!!! But I will say, this is one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to read. My heart breaks. Not just because of the mass killings, thousands upon thousands of children warriors that are completely brainwashed and the same amount of women/children that are sex slaves. No. My heart breaks because their hearts are so empty that they don’t know what to do but try to fill up that void. They think that the more killing and evil that is done, the better chance they have for Heaven; for Allah to allow them a “pass”. Jesus. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the one that fills that void of hurt and torture your lives have been. Christians do NOT worship three Gods. We worship One. Just One. Ask Allah who he really is. Ask Him to show you if He is real. Mean it. Ask Him and really mean it. He will show Himself to you. You don’t need this horrendous path. Throughout the book, Benjamin is, rightfully, calling for us to do more to stop ISIS and it’s rapid growth. Us, Americans, we don’t even know the half of what’s going on over there. It blew my mind. But again, there is nothing that can stop them except Jesus. They are seeking to find a way to fill that emptiness and pain by turning frantic and brutal. Pray. Pray, my friends! This is much more serious than you even realize! I appreciate, so much, what Benjamin has done to open my eyes and the eyes of many. I certainly don’t recommend he continues to go, but I appreciate what he’s doing with this book. It is eye opening, thoroughly written. You will know the players in the game. You will know where they came from and how it is escalating. If you want knowledge of what ISIS truly is, pick up a copy of this book. Thank you, netgalley, for this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more (hopefully lighthearted!!! for a while anyway) more!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zee Monodee

    A good book with well-explained details about ISIS and the crisis it represents. I've read a few books about this topic since it has burst onto the scene recently and none has presented the information in such a concise and understandable manner. This read a lot like a thrilling travelogue with shadows of true horror falling over it at times. But if you want a good grasp of what ISIS is and how it came about and why it is still thriving in its region, then this is a very good starting point that A good book with well-explained details about ISIS and the crisis it represents. I've read a few books about this topic since it has burst onto the scene recently and none has presented the information in such a concise and understandable manner. This read a lot like a thrilling travelogue with shadows of true horror falling over it at times. But if you want a good grasp of what ISIS is and how it came about and why it is still thriving in its region, then this is a very good starting point that will give you a rather precise idea of the whole thing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Some interesting points but overall disappointingly shallow. By no means comparable to Jessica Stern's "ISIS: State of Terror" or "The Islamist Phoenix: The Islamic State (ISIS) and the Redrawing of the Middle East" by Loretta Napoleoni that I both highly recommend on the subject.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Josh S

    This book has 256 pages

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rajalakshmi

    This is the first book I have read about the ISIS and the current political scenarios with ISIS have changed. But the way the author describes the life in, under and against ISIS gives a harrowing picture and a look into how history, religion, economic and Geo-political interests are being exploited in conflict. The narratives on violence and cruelty in the book made me thankful for the sheltered life I have had till now(Touch Wood!) But it also made me ponder what has happened to humanity? The This is the first book I have read about the ISIS and the current political scenarios with ISIS have changed. But the way the author describes the life in, under and against ISIS gives a harrowing picture and a look into how history, religion, economic and Geo-political interests are being exploited in conflict. The narratives on violence and cruelty in the book made me thankful for the sheltered life I have had till now(Touch Wood!) But it also made me ponder what has happened to humanity? The political reasons could be very many but as a race what has happened to us? And it also made me realize that even if ISIS is fully defeated, the millions of displaced people who have seen so much violence and hatred will be so scarred that our unwritten histories will surely face all repercussions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lorfing

    This book is "a must" read, by EVERYONE. I never really believed in true evil or the Devil until Isis reared up it's ugly head. I doubt if John Milton himself could have dreamed them up; but their are real monsters roaming the earth.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shreshtha

    Dangerous

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amie's Book Reviews

    INSIDE ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army Author: Benjamin Hall Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Faithwords / Center Street Release Date: March 10, 2015 Length: 270 pages Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ * I received a free copy of this book from www.netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. It was not very long ago that no one had even heard of ISIS and now it seems that you can't turn on the news or listen to the radio without hearing about this terrorist organization. Despite the fact that INSIDE ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army Author: Benjamin Hall Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Faithwords / Center Street Release Date: March 10, 2015 Length: 270 pages Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ * I received a free copy of this book from www.netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. It was not very long ago that no one had even heard of ISIS and now it seems that you can't turn on the news or listen to the radio without hearing about this terrorist organization. Despite the fact that it is constantly in the news I did not have very much information about the who, what and why of ISIS before reading this book. "Life inside the ISIS capital of Raqqa goes on ... Thousands of foreign fighters roam the streets, morality police patrol the neighborhoods, businesses and individuals are subjected to extortion, and women live in fear as ISIS drives them back to the Middle Ages." Journalist and Author Benjamin Hall spent time behind enemy lines and this book is a direct result of the information he obtained and the events he witnessed. "Every day people are beheaded in public, stoned to death, whipped, or have their hands chopped off... Music is forbidden and prayers are forced upon the people." ISIS is a plague that must be stopped. They hate all things Western and all of us who live in the United States and Canada. They say they are fighting a holy war, but it seems that what they say and what they do are completely different. In this book the author attempts to answer many of the questions that come up when ISIS is discussed. Where did ISIS come from? What do they want? And most importantly how can they be stopped? The names of the various jihadist groups as well as the names of individual people within those groups are difficult to pronounce and since so many of the names are similar, they are often confusing to the reader. However, the author has done an admirable job of distinguishing between the various and often convoluted jihadist groups operating in the Middle East. This is an important book. Knowledge is power and the more people know about ISIS, the less power they will be able to wield. I encourage every U.S. and Canadian citizen to read this book. Through knowledge maybe we can affect significant and lasting change for the innocent victims of ISIS in the Middle East. This book will stay with you long after you close the cover. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Benjamin Hall is an independent journalist based in London. He has travelled to many countries to document conflicts in war-torn regions. To learn more about him visit www.hallbenjamin.com To read more of my book reviews visit http://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nic Adams

    As ISIS / ISIL / IS / ISI /DAESH is a relatively new 'happening' there is very little reference material available so to write a book of this nature means that the author needs to write from his own experiences and this Benjamin Hall does extremely well. History will show, as this book does, that the USA thanks to Obama (and Mrs Clinton) has become a lame duck and the laughing stock of the world. Sadly, as a result of Obama's failures in foreign policy which offered ideal circumstances to ISIS thr As ISIS / ISIL / IS / ISI /DAESH is a relatively new 'happening' there is very little reference material available so to write a book of this nature means that the author needs to write from his own experiences and this Benjamin Hall does extremely well. History will show, as this book does, that the USA thanks to Obama (and Mrs Clinton) has become a lame duck and the laughing stock of the world. Sadly, as a result of Obama's failures in foreign policy which offered ideal circumstances to ISIS thriving in the Middle East ISIS has grown into not just an army that can be defeated on the battlefield, it is an ideology, and one that grows stronger by the day and that is the really scary part! What is highlighted so strongly in this book is the horror attached to ISIS - the mass killings, the indoctrination and training of young boys, the abuse of women and young girls as sex slaves leaving families broken and hopeless. A book that offers a lot of information about who they are, where did they come from, how has it been possible for them to become so successful, so quickly, and the authors thoughts on how they can be stopped. This is recommended reading for all who want to understand what can be considered as a major terrorist threat that may well define the Middle East ..... and the West ...... for decades to come.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    This is a great example of a book about history in the making, and even the author admits that there aren't yet a lot of reliable written sources out there for him to refer to. At first I was bothered by the lack of footnotes, but I came to realize that he is writing based on his own experience and learning in the region. As a war correspondent, he has lived in the midst of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq over the last few years, and has talked to handlers, soldiers, and civilians alike about wh This is a great example of a book about history in the making, and even the author admits that there aren't yet a lot of reliable written sources out there for him to refer to. At first I was bothered by the lack of footnotes, but I came to realize that he is writing based on his own experience and learning in the region. As a war correspondent, he has lived in the midst of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq over the last few years, and has talked to handlers, soldiers, and civilians alike about what they are experiencing, why they feel the way they do, and what they think the future will bring. I learned a lot about ISIS and the Syrian/Iraqi crisis, and have a much better understanding of how the Middle East has gotten into this current mess (as opposed to all the other messes of the last 100 years). Still, the reader has a sense that this book has been rushed to publication (at least the e-version of it), certainly because it deals with breaking news and Hall wants to be the first voice out there. I would give 4 stars for content, but downgrade it to a 3.5 because organization and editing feel a bit sloppy. Yet... I'm going to round it back up to that 4 because it's the best thing I've been able to find on this topic. I absolutely recommend this for anyone who wants to know more about ISIS; it's only 200 pages and very readable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Everyone should read this harrowing and concerning book! Benjamin Hall explains the convoluted rise of Isis and the complex politics of the Middle East, a region that is going up in flames as the dominoes fall. He studies whether Obama's foreign policy is working, and what we should do to combat this 'death cult' as our PM calls it. There is no doubt that it is a death cult. Hall describes in graphic detail the brutality of Isis - the story of the death of James Foley will bring tears to your eye Everyone should read this harrowing and concerning book! Benjamin Hall explains the convoluted rise of Isis and the complex politics of the Middle East, a region that is going up in flames as the dominoes fall. He studies whether Obama's foreign policy is working, and what we should do to combat this 'death cult' as our PM calls it. There is no doubt that it is a death cult. Hall describes in graphic detail the brutality of Isis - the story of the death of James Foley will bring tears to your eyes. The treatment of its enemies and enslaved women is unbelievably cruel. Unfortunately, the Westerners who join Isis are the nastiest. Hall provides details of how Isis takes over cities gradually, pleasing people at first and then ruling with harsh laws and punishments, such as beheadings. Unfortunately, Isis is making so much money from oil, extortion and kidnappings that it is hard to fight. Hall makes some excellent suggestions about strategies to defeat This frightening terrorist group.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard Macquarrie

    This was a very well thought out book. It explained a great deal of the crimes committed by ISIS on innocent children and innocent young women. The author also did a great job of explaining the complexities of the middle east. We are allies with Turkey whom we need to keep Russia in check but they hate the Kurds. The Kurds are our only real allies on the ground against ISIS except the undependable Iran backed Iraqi government. Saudi Arabia funds Sunni organizations while Iran funds Shia organiza This was a very well thought out book. It explained a great deal of the crimes committed by ISIS on innocent children and innocent young women. The author also did a great job of explaining the complexities of the middle east. We are allies with Turkey whom we need to keep Russia in check but they hate the Kurds. The Kurds are our only real allies on the ground against ISIS except the undependable Iran backed Iraqi government. Saudi Arabia funds Sunni organizations while Iran funds Shia organizations like Assad and Hezbullah. It opened my eyes to the real problem in the middle east. Saudi Arabia, and Iran's proxy war is more destructive and destabilizing than the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis. Until one of these groups loses everything we will never establish peace in the middle east. Either Iran or Saudi has to win it all. Or they both have to lose. My only complaint about this book is the editor did not find all of the awkward sentences in the book. Some words are in the wrong spot. It makes it clear that this book was written quickly.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Castelli

    There was a good amount of information for one who doesn't have a base of knowledge on the rise of ISIS over the last few years, however it seems as though the author does not have a very attentive editor or he is not accustomed to organizing his facts before putting them on paper. There were many sentences in the book that contradicted themselves before the period. There were also much smaller inaccuracies which is either me nitpicking or the author not understanding some of the minute details There was a good amount of information for one who doesn't have a base of knowledge on the rise of ISIS over the last few years, however it seems as though the author does not have a very attentive editor or he is not accustomed to organizing his facts before putting them on paper. There were many sentences in the book that contradicted themselves before the period. There were also much smaller inaccuracies which is either me nitpicking or the author not understanding some of the minute details of where he reported from in the Middle East. As an example of the more minor errors, he says Allahu Akbar means God is greater when it actually means God is great or literally God is the greatest. If you can get past these missteps in writing, there is a lot of things to learn about ISIS.. The reason I gave it three stars is because it makes me doubt the larger facts he presents because of the smaller missteps I noticed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debby

    This book is packed with detailed information about ISIS, how it came to be, the part the U.S. has played in its rise to power and the deep-seated conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The author is clearly very knowledgable. The writing was uneven. It almost felt as though it had been written by two different people. Some parts were very well thought out and expressed and others seemed rushed and scattered. I wondered if it was the result of rushing to get a timely book to market. The reason t This book is packed with detailed information about ISIS, how it came to be, the part the U.S. has played in its rise to power and the deep-seated conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The author is clearly very knowledgable. The writing was uneven. It almost felt as though it had been written by two different people. Some parts were very well thought out and expressed and others seemed rushed and scattered. I wondered if it was the result of rushing to get a timely book to market. The reason that I didn't rate it better is that the editing was absolutely awful in my Kindle edition. There were words missing, words repeated, letters missing in words, etc. etc.. There would often be multiple errors on a single page. It looked like a first draft that had never had any corrections made and it was very distracting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Wellner

    In a blindingly short time, ISIS has risen to the top of the news through brutality and ruthlessness. Benjamin Hall, a journalist whose focus on conflict has taken him inside many of the world's hot spots, traces the strands whose weaving created this terrifying movement. His historical perspective and understanding of the complex political landscape of the countries where ISIS is working to establish a caliphate make this essential reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Campbell

    Inside ISIS delivers a detailed depiction of how ISIS came to be without pounding you with too much information. I learned so much from the book and never felt weighed down by a barrage of information. This may be because Benjamin Hall, the author, was/is a journalist with feet on the ground during the Syrian Revolution. I highly recommend this book to anyone whose looking to understand what is happening in the Middle East.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nickie Deahl

    This book was packed with information crucial to understanding the origins of ISIS, ISIS's beliefs, and what ISIS is doing now. However, the editing was horrific and it actually distracted me at points. I had to read several sentences more than once to comprehend its meaning because of missing, repeated, or misspelled words.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A great book providing a good understanding of ISIS. Mr. Hall, an entrenched reporter providing first hand accounts of the unrest caused by ISIS. This book covers Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Yazidi's, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Assad, Libya, Social Media, funding, etc. From religious differences to jihad to thugs, it is all in this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Russell

    I feel that everyone should read this book to better understand who the world is dealing with. ISIS is a brutal group, even more brutal than the Nazis of World War II. If allowed to continue, they will destroy millions of innocent peoples lives in Iraq and Syria. Please read this book. There are some grammatical errors in the book, but the content is too important to ignore.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Interesting look into the face of evil, an interesting take since he was embedded in some of the opposition forces so he brings a unique perspective. Want to know more about these evil people then start here

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt Bucklin

    Inside ISIS is a fantastic book. It is insightful, approachable, and very well written. If you are interested in learning about the upheaval in the Middle East, and the origins and operations of ISIS, from an on the ground perspective, I highly recommend reading this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tiemu

    There's not much new here if someone regularly reads newspapers. But worth reading.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wayfinding Woman

    Well written, but oh, so difficult to read. Chilling, but glad I read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Francis M. Van Meter

    Good book An inside views of what ISIS and radical Islam is about, what to expect from them, and why the world should wake up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Hall makes a very messy situation much easier to understand. He identifies all the players in the region and explains their intentions in a clear and concise way. Really glad I read this book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nate Steffes

    A must read for all trying to understand the origins, key players, and ISIS's ultimate goal. A gripping call to action from the author to all of his readers.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Very informative.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Psychonaut

    3.5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steven May

    This book helps gain some understanding of ISIS and what has happened in Syria and Iraq. Very complicated situation that deserves more attention from Western nations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Greg Thurkins

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