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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Connecting the Dots to the Caliphate: A Primer for the Thinking Person by Shanbreen is an excellent book on the current state of affairs regarding terrorism in the world and its links with Islamic extremist groups. Clearly a lot of research and thought has gone into writing this book because the subject has been dealt with comprehensively and from as neutral a standpoint as possible, covering all different aspects and points of view. The book is divided broadly into three areas: a background of Islam and Islamic countries, cultures, laws, and history in the context of modern conflict; the causes and reasons behind the rise of extremist Islamic groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS or Daesh and their ideologies; and thirdly the strategies and planning for the future that all countries should be aware of and participate in to maintain world peace. Each of these broad areas has been dealt with thoroughly, including American politics in the Middle East, the Israel-Palestine issue, what’s at stake in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Middle East in general, wars in Iraq and Syria, the role of America and Russia in the future, etc. in various chapters.
I was engrossed in reading Connecting the Dots to the Caliphate right from the beginning because I felt that this is truly written from an unbiased and educational point of view. There is a lot of incorrect and false information these days on the topic of international terrorism and Islam and the Muslim world in general, so it is always good to come across a piece of writing that genuinely seems correct and informative. Shanbreen’s writing style is engaging and the information in the book is very up-to-date and well-researched. I liked the topic of US and Saudi Arabia relations in particular, and the self-interest that motivates this relationship is something that more people need to be aware of. This is a great book on Middle Eastern politics that I would highly recommend.