The Spiders of Allah
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The Spiders of Allah

3.78 (147 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The bloodshed perpetrated in the name of religion in the world today is nowhere more obvious than in the Middle East. Whether we are talking about hardcore Zionist settlers still fighting ancient Biblical battles in the hills of the West Bank or Shiite death squads roaming the lawless streets of Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam; whether it's the misappropriation and martyrdom of Mickey Mouse by Gaza's Islamists, or a US president acting on God's orders, James Hider sees the hallucinatory effect of what he calls the 'crack cocaine of fanatical fundamentalism' all around him. As James Hider travels around the Middle East, from Israel to Gaza, to Iraq - and then back to Jerusalem, he takes his doubts about religious beliefs to the very heart of the world's holy wars. He meets terrorists and their victims, soldiers and clerics, ordinary people and extraordinary people. The question in the back of his mind is: how can people not only believe in all this madness, but die and kill for it too? This timely book casts an unflinching yet compassionate eye on the very worst and most violent crimes committed in the name of religion and asks questions that the world needs to answer if we are to stand a chance of facing our own worst demons.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 24mm | 270g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552775495
  • 9780552775496
  • 462,949

Review quote

"This sort of informed but subjective account of the frontlines of conflict in the Middle East is not simply rubbernecking, it's required reading" Time Out "Hider's voice is incisive and rich in the human detail that only first-hand experience bestows. An essential work for anyone wishing to understand the swirling machinations of Iraq, its people and its war" -- Antony Loyd, author of My War Gone By, I Miss it So "At once a terrifying insight into the 'crack-cocaine of fanatical fundamentalism' and a blackly humorous narrative of a foreign correspondent's growing sense of bafflement and alienation" -- Chris Ayres, author of WAR REPORTING FOR COWARDS "James Hider offers a new voice in the literature of the Middle East: His is delightfully fresh and very funny. It takes a brave and confident writer to take on so many taboos but Hider does it with the confidence that comes from years in the field and from a deep, authoritative historical and cultural knowledge of Israel, Iraq and the region" -- Matt McAllester, author of BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS OF THE DAMNEDshow more

About James Hider

James Hider is The Times Middle East Bureau Chief, currently based in Jerusalem. This is his first book.show more

Review Text

"James Hider offers a new voice in the literature of the Middle East: His is delightfully fresh and very funny. It takes a brave and confident writer to take on so many taboos but Hider does it with the confidence that comes from years in the field and from a deep, authoritative historical and cultural knowledge of Israel, Iraq and the region"show more

Back cover copy

Whether it's Shia death squads roaming the lawless streets of Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam or hardcore Zionist settlers still fighting ancient Biblical battles in the hills of the West Bank, the bloodshed perpetrated in the name of religion today is nowhere more obvious than in the Middle East. Dodging bullets, dogma and certainty, James Hider travels around the region witnessing what he calls the 'crack cocaine of fanatical fundamentalism'. From Israel to Gaza, to Iraq and then back to Jerusalem, his journey takes him to the very heart of today's holy wars. There he meets terrorists and their victims, soldiers and clerics, ordinary people and extraordinary people. And the question at the back of his mind is: how can people not only believe in all this madness, but die and kill for it too?show more

Rating details

147 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 27% (40)
4 33% (49)
3 31% (46)
2 7% (10)
1 1% (2)
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