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Publisher's Summary

From Graeme Wood, author of the explosive Atlantic cover story 'What ISIS Really Wants', comes the definitive book on the history, psychology, character and aims of the Islamic State. Based on Wood's unprecedented access to supporters, recruiters and high-ranking members of the most infamous jihadist group in the world, The Way of the Strangers is a riveting, fast-paced deep dive into the apocalyptic dogma that informs the group's worldview, from the ideas that motivate it to the 'fatwa factory' that produces its laws to its very specific plans for the future. By accepting that ISIS truly believes the end is nigh, we can understand its strategy - and predict what it will do next.

©2016 Graeme Wood (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Wood is a fearless, relentlessly curious and magnetically interesting writer who takes us on an intellectual and theological journey to the darkest places on the planet, and yet he manages to do this without despairing for our collective future. This book is a triumph of journalism." (Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief, The Atlantic)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Incredibly Frightening & Enlightening!

An amazing insight into the Jihadists & Islamists of the world. The best book that describes the link between belief and action.

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The Full Monty

Graeme Wood uncovers the motivations and religious ideologies driving the Islamic State. The interviews, research, and level of background knowledge are first rate. His humorous and insightful commentary is refreshing and made me laugh out loud. This is easily one of the best books I have read on Islamic extremism.

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Fantastic book!

Would you listen to The Way of the Strangers again? Why?

I will listen to this book again...It is bursting with great information that is unique to Graeme as he is the person interviewing and having first hand experiences with the people.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Way of the Strangers?

A very insightful book, written from the mind of a strong journalist who is interested in painting a truthful picture, only adding minimal moral commentary.

Have you listened to any of Jeff Harding’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Okay reading - voice is not my favourite and doesnt capture the voice or flavour of Graeme as i have heard him.

Any additional comments?

Give this a read if you want to understand ISIS. Get into their head first hand!

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  • David Wood
  • 05-03-2017

Convincing, well-researched, thoughtful, frighteni


Via its absorbing retelling of probing interviews with supporters of the Islamic State, and a compelling analysis of publications by its adherents, "The Way of the Strangers" provides important insight into what really motivates the organisation. The evidence shows convincingly that the organisation is (despite common opinions to the contrary): thoroughly religious, part of an authentic strand of Islam, and a genuine threat to human well-being worldwide.

It's also chilling to compare the intense self-assurance of the IS supporters with the intense self-assurance of the Trump fan boys.

In short, the book is convincing, well-researched, thoughtful, and frightening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fat Tony
  • 03-07-2017

Understanding the Islamic State

The book is fascinating. If you want to know how IS members think, it is perfect. It's truly mind-opening to try to understand these rational lunatics. It explains why few clerics manage to efficiently counter their theology. Also, books like these are perhaps the only way we can approximate an understanding of the medieval mindset. Let's hope it perishes quickly!

Woods writing is very entertaining and witty.

The narration is also good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 25-06-2017

Up close and personal with Islamist.


This is an exploration of Islamist movement by engaging with the radicalizers, the converts, and explain some of the whys of their twisted logic. It explains some of the theology as they perceive it and as it is explained to those they want to convert, it is very well researched and explored deeply; the commentary is minimal as this is more of a reportage in the form of a book.
Like all religions Islam is full of illogical ideas and cultural references that have little to do with logic or reality, belief is a form acceptance of the irrational to attain salvation. The apocalyptic references are as interesting and as crazy as exorcism is in the Catholic church.
Very informative an eye opener that will explain the thought proses and the subjugation of the mind one must endure to become a believer.
I do not understand how we give religions such a powerful positions within our societies; religions must serve greatly those in power for it to be permissible, to protect so much stupidity.
A very good read that will explain a lot about the irrational mindset of Islamist.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Brookes
  • 26-02-2017

Enlightening

This book has helped me approach the threat of so called Islamic State. I am grateful for its in depth analysis of the group's why and wherefore. Its detailed description of the historical development and the personal development of some of its key members.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John Hodgson
  • 06-04-2018

A must read

Everyone, Muslim or non-Muslim needs to read this. it may change how you view Islam and the middle east forever