While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
The rise of the ultraviolent Islamic State (ISIS) stands as one of the most troubling geopolitical events in recent decades. In this sober study of the Salafi-jihadist group, Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges spells out the cultural nuances and societal chaos that allowed such a vicious and intolerant organization to gain power. Gerges details the Shia-Sunni split that animated ISIS, as well as the larger forces that opened doors for ISIS, including al-Qaeda, the United States’ invasion of Iraq and Bashar al-Assad’s iron-fisted response to the Arab Spring. Gerges’ account of ISIS’s flourishing remains generally calm and even-handed. getAbstract recommends this well-researched history as a useful, measured companion to on-the-ground accounts that set out to enrage readers. Gerges, instead, sets out to inform readers: a goal he deftly accomplishes.
About the Author
Fawaz A. Gerges is professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds the Emirates Professorship in Contemporary Middle East Studies.