A“provocative and deeply reported look into the emerging field of deradicalization” (Esquire), told through the stories of former militants and the people working to bring them back into society, from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Carla Power
What are the roots of radicalism? Journalist Carla Power came to this question well before the January 6, 2021, attack in Washington, D.C., turned our country’s attention to the problem of domestic radicalization. Her entry point was a different wave of radical panic—the way populists and pundits encouraged us to see the young people who joined ISIS or other terrorist organizations as simple monsters. Power wanted to chip away at the stereotypes by focusing not on what these young people had done but why: What drew them into militancy? What visions of the world—of home, of land, of security for themselves and the people they loved—shifted their thinking toward radical beliefs? And what visions of the world might bring them back to society?
Power begins her journey by talking to the mothers of young men who’d joined ISIS in the UK and Canada; from there, she travels around the world in search of societies that are finding new and innovative ways to rehabilitate former extremists. We meet an American judge who has staked his career on finding new ways to handle terrorist suspects, a Pakistani woman running a game-changing school for former child soldiers, a radicalized Somali American who learns through literature to see beyond his Manichean beliefs, and a former neo-Nazi who now helps disarm white supremacists. Along the way Power gleans lessons that get her closer to answering the true question at the heart of her pursuit: Can we find a way to live together?
An eye-opening, page-turning investigation, Home, Land, Security speaks to the rise of division and radicalization in all forms, both at home and abroad. In this richly reported and deeply human account, Carla Power offers new ways to overcome the rising tides of extremism, one human at a time.
About the Author
Carla Power is the author of If the Oceans Were Ink, a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She began her journalistic career at Newsweek in the 1990s. Her reportage and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Time, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The Guardian. She lives with her family in East Sussex, England.
Praise for Home, Land, Security
“Why do people become radicalized, and can militant radicals be rehabilitated? In this provocative and deeply reported look into the emerging field of deradicalization, Power investigates these questions, providing a compassionate look at the myriad forces driving young people into the arms of radical belief systems. . . .In these riveting, character-driven pages, Power encourages us to resist moral binaries of ‘good and evil’ as we work toward countering terrorist groups—and the loved ones held in their sway.”—Esquire (Best Books of Fall 2021)
“Deeply reported and ultimately optimistic . . . astounding . . . Power humanizes militant jihadists and offers insights into the forces that push people toward extremism. . . . Interweaving intimate character profiles and in-depth research, this is a nuanced look at a critical yet overlooked front in the fight against extremism.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Power’s exceptionally wide-ranging research persuaded her that Americans need to stop thinking about former militants in absolutist terms like ‘good and evil’ and to take a more nuanced approach to fostering their deradicalization and preventing the backsliding that may occur during long imprisonments. . . . This book is full of valuable insights into violent extremism . . . A provocative exploration of the appeal of terrorist groups and how to counter it effectively.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for If the Oceans Were Ink
“A vibrant tale of a friendship . . . If the Oceans Were Ink is a welcome and nuanced look at Islam. . . . It goes a long way toward combating the dehumanizing stereotypes of Muslims that are all too common. . . . If the Oceans Were Ink should be mandatory reading for the 52 percent of Americans who admit to not knowing enough about Muslims.”—The Washington Post
“For all those who wonder what Islam says about war and peace, men and women, Jews and gentiles, this is the book to read. It is a conversation among well-meaning friends—intelligent, compassionate, and revealing—the kind that needs to be taking place around the world.”—Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World
“Carla Power’s intimate portrait of the Quran, told with nuance and great elegance, captures the extraordinary, living debate over the Muslim holy book’s very essence. . . . .A spirited, compelling read.”—Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad
“An inspiring story of two [people] from different worlds who refuse to let religious and cultural differences, prejudice, and ignorance get in the way of their friendship, If the Oceans Were Ink is as thought-provoking as it is elegantly written. It takes a difficult, highly charged topic and puts it into terms that are not only understandable and eye-opening, but beautiful.”―Bustle