The ISIS Apocalypse

  • by William McCants
  • Narrated by Stephen McLaughlin
  • 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state building than its competitors.
The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam - the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world - into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic - including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It's time to dig into this...

This is a book that every thoughtful, educated, and voting American should read (or listen to) in order to understand the true complexity of the problem of jihadism and its current incarnation as ISIS. McCant knows his stuff and describes ISIS' trajectory clearly and directly tying it to its historical roots without embellishment. There is something chilling and especially impactful about his handling of the Yasidi predicament.

I can't recommend this book highly enough! McCants ends with conclusions and a list of what-to-do's that won't be palatable for those who, after San Bernadino, would like to put boots on the ground in Syria. But, McCants make so much sense that I, for one, agree. He also declares that even if a coalition defeats ISIS and wipes it out, the problems that gave rise to it in the first place will ensure other jihadists will use their playbook in the future.

One suggestion: readers might consider listening to the Conclusion first to get oriented before launching into the book at its beginning.
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- MetaDreaming

Probably a great book, but the narration pitiable.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book should be re-recorded. I couldn't even get through the whole audio recording. McCants, the learned author has some tremendous insights and valuable knowledge about the inner-workings of Islamic terrorist group commonly referred to as ISIS. It's a subject that fascinates me, hence I listen to or read as much as I can on the subject. BUT - I've purchased hundreds of titles from and I regret to admit that this well-written book has the worst narration of any audiobook I've listened to so far. So, do yourself a favour and buy the real book and read it!

Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen McLaughlin’s performances?


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- Annette

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2015
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio