The Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East
An essential chronicle of the major conflict of our age from the award-winning author of The Rise of Islamic State, charting the fault lines of the Middle East’s disintegration since 9/11
“Quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in the Middle East today.”—Seymour M. Hersh
The Age of Jihad charts the turmoil of today’s Middle East and the devastating role the West has played in the region from 2001 to the present. Beginning with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, Cockburn explores the vast geopolitical struggle that is the Sunni–Shia conflict, a clash that shapes the war on terror, western military interventions, the evolution of the insurgency, the civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, the Arab Spring, the fall of regional dictators, and the rise of Islamic State.
As Cockburn shows in arresting detail, Islamic State did not explode into existence in Syria in the wake of the Arab Spring, as conventional wisdom would have it. The organization gestated over several years in occupied Iraq, before growing to the point where it can threaten the stability of the whole region.
Cockburn was the first Western journalist to warn of the dangers posed by Islamic State. His originality and breadth of vision make The Age of Jihad the most in-depth analysis of the regional crisis in the Middle East to date.
Patrick Cockburn is a Middle East correspondent for the Independent and has worked previously for the Financial Times. He has written three books on Iraq’s recent history, including the National Book Circle Awards– shortlisted The Occupation and Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession (with Andrew Cockburn), as well as a memoir, The Broken Boy, and, with his son, a book on schizophrenia, Henry’s Demons, which was shortlisted for a Costa Award. He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006, and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009. More recently he has been awarded Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards, Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year in British Journalism Award 2014, and Foreign Reporter of the Year in Press Awards 2014.