Faith at War: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu

Overview

A Washington Post Book World Rave for 2005

In the aftermath of 9/11, Yaroslav Trofimov spent three years crisscrossing the Islamic world to create this unprecedented report. Mingling with ordinary Muslims, prominent clerics, and heads of state alike, he paints a ground-level picture of Islamic life as it is being changed by the Western war on terror. A sensitive, provocative portrait of a critical period in Muslim history, Faith at War ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$16.64
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$19.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (32) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $3.25   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

A Washington Post Book World Rave for 2005

In the aftermath of 9/11, Yaroslav Trofimov spent three years crisscrossing the Islamic world to create this unprecedented report. Mingling with ordinary Muslims, prominent clerics, and heads of state alike, he paints a ground-level picture of Islamic life as it is being changed by the Western war on terror. A sensitive, provocative portrait of a critical period in Muslim history, Faith at War introduces surprising ties between the Islamic world and our own.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stylishly written, keenly observed dispatches."—William Grimes, The New York Times

"An illuminating arrival in this season of fog . . . I felt grateful for his detailed eyewitness accounts and independent point of view. Wherever the road twists next, American readers can only hope that its journalistic travelers include more like Trofimov, who has the language and courage to climb over daunting barriers to report plainly on what he sees and hears and feels on the other side."—Steve Coll, The Washington Post

"[An] epic tour of the post-9/11 Islamic world."—San Antonio Express-News

"Eye-popping peregrinations . . . essential for readers walking the minefield of U.S.-Arab relations—for anyone trying to follow the news."—Kirkus Reviews

"The cosmological description [of the Islamic 'universe'] is apt: The countries Trofimov visited seem, in their values, outlooks, and aspirations, very distant from our own. Faith at War serves as a kind of wormhole, through which we can enter that parallel universe and begin to comprehend it. . . . This book deserves a wide readership. The Muslims don't understand us, we don't understand them. Faith at War goes a long way toward solving the second part of that dismal equation."—Philip Caputo, The New York Times Book Review

Steve Coll
Even where I found myself quarrelling with some of Trofimov's analysis, I felt grateful for his detailed eyewitness accounts and independent point of view. Wherever the road twists next, American readers can only hope that its journalistic travelers include more like Trofimov, who has the language and courage to climb over daunting barriers, to report plainly on what he sees and hears and feels on the other side.
— The Washington Post
William Grimes
The stylishly written, keenly observed dispatches that make up Faith at War deliver mostly bad news. The United States is regarded, across large swaths of the Muslim world, with a mixture of suspicion and hatred that military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has fanned to a white-hot intensity. Moderate Muslim voices are being drowned out by the screaming of fanatics.
— The New York Times
Philip Caputo
… this book deserves a wide readership. The Muslims don't understand us, we don't understand them. Faith at War goes a long way toward solving the second part of that dismal equation.
— The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Trofimov covers Islamic culture for the Wall Street Journal, a wide beat that has him reporting stories from West Africa to Central Asia and even in Eastern Europe. This political travelogue includes dispatches from the front lines of the American invasion of Iraq and the subsequent attempts at creating a democratic regime. There are plenty of by now familiar stories of American troops and politicians bumbling through an increasingly resentful Iraqi society (including the deaths of an Italian diplomat and legitimate Iraqi politician at the hands of U.S. troops). But Trofimov gets fresh material on Saudi Arabia, where, despite severe economic downturns, men continue to hire thousands of foreign workers because they refuse to trust fellow "sex-obsessed" Saudis to chauffeur their wives who are forbidden from driving. By contrast, in the African nation of Mali, Islam exists comfortably alongside indigenous religions, resulting in a healthy democratic environment. If there isn't much of a theme to all this globe hopping beyond showing that Islam is a lot more diverse than most Americans realize, Trofimov puts just the right blend of cultural perspective and personal experience into his tour. Agent, Jay Mandel. (May 4) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Eye-popping peregrinations in places where people are most likely to succeed in hating Americans-and in killing us, too. Soviet-born, Rome-resident Wall Street Journal correspondent Trofimov-his Italian passport comes in handy, we see-has been traveling about the Muslim world for years, speaks Arabic and knows his way around the Arab street. It's a dusty road, filled with people who have lately come to dislike the U.S., thanks to "a nagging suspicion among some Muslims, a firm belief among others, that what started as a war against terrorism in 2001 is mutating into an intractable, almost apocalyptic conflict between the West and Islam." But out in the tonier neighborhoods, where the doctors and government folk live, hating Americans has been de rigueur for years now; even the staff of the Jeddah Chuck E. Cheese, by Trofimov's account, is likely to assume that any Westerner is a Zionist spy. The fact is, several interviewees suggest, the greater the American influence in the region, the more likely it is that Islamists will flourish. (Not all Americans are verboten: one semiofficial Yemeni newspaper Trofimov thumbs through features a long op-ed piece by Klansman David Duke.) Trofimov roams the Arab world looking for evidence of how we're doing out there. The answer is not encouraging: having weathered ethnic slaughter, many Bosnian Muslims are drifting into the fundamentalist camp; secular democracies such as Tunisia are steadily losing ground to the mullahs; a steadily poorer Saudi Arabia is ever more "defiantly different from the West in its core"; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, where, relative to the size of the force there, American casualties are as high as in Iraq, whilein Iraq, those who were supposed to cheer our liberating them are counting coup on the bodies of our soldiers. As one mullah says, "We only believe in American technology. We don't believe in American democracy, because the Americans themselves don't have any."Essential for readers walking the minefield of U.S.-Arab relations-for anyone trying to follow the news.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312425111
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 4/18/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Yaroslav Trofimov joined The Wall Street Journal in 1999 and in 2001 became a roving foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and the Balkans. He lives with his family in Rome.

Biography

Yaroslav Trofimov was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in July 1969, and spent his childhood on the African island of Madagascar before moving to New York to study journalism and political science at New York University.

In 1999-2007, Trofimov traveled all over the Middle East as a Rome-based roving staff correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. A speaker of Arabic, he extensively reported from Saudi Arabia and from the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. He described these experiences in Faith at War: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu. This book of nonfiction reportage, published in 2005, was long-listed for the Lettre Ulysses award for literary journalism and selected as one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post.

A vivid description of the 1979 takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda was published to great acclaim in 2007. Trofimov continues his journalistic career as an Asia-based roving correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, reporting in-depth stories about religion and social change in a region that stretches from Indonesia to Pakistan.

Author biography courtesy of Random House.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Yaroslav Trofimov:

"I was born into a totalitarian society, albeit a deeply corroded and crumbling one -- and so the natural reaction, instilled in me by my parents, was to be deeply skeptical of authority and to question assumptions. This happened to be a crucial skill for my journalistic and writing career, in countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Tunisia or Bangladesh."

"In that world, where some of the best books were banned, it was also natural to treasure the written word - and literature had an immense value that's hard to understand today. I still remember how my classmate had lent me an illicit, almost illegible photocopy of Mikhail Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita" in the 1980s - and how I spent a whole night typing up my favorite passages on my grandfather's vintage typewriter."

"I was lucky to have sent much of my childhood in Africa, on the island of Madagascar, where my father taught at the local university. But, after that, it was back to the USSR, a country where foreign travel was still the rarest of privileges. It's probably because of this childhood shock of finding myself entrapped again within the Soviet confines that I still suffer from uncontrollable wanderlust, spending my life in planes and crossing every border I can."

"The biggest pleasure that I can derive is from scratching my itch of curiosity -- finding out things that were not public before." On unwinding: "Nothing beats a few days of diving in the deep blue sea. The words disappear under water, and primeval instincts kick in."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Singapore
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1969
    2. Place of Birth:
      Kiev, Ukraine
    1. Education:
      BS Equiv, Kiev Institute of Economics, 1990; MA, New York University, 1993

Table of Contents

1 Saudi Arabia : Abdel Wahhab's sons 1
2 Saudi Arabia : Chuck E. Cheese and Richard the Lion Heart 22
3 Tunisia : teaching Freud to the mullahs 43
4 Yemen : you're here to pinpoint air strikes against our mosque 63
5 Kuwait : to Tora Bora and back 83
6 Iraq : tell Mr. Bush that I have dirty clothes 95
7 Iraq : one Saddam for every neighborhood 123
8 Iraq : we don't count their bodies 147
9 Iraq : even if you turn this country into heaven 173
10 Afghanistan : the brandy of Kabul 193
11 Afghanistan : why are you afraid of the soldiers? 212
12 Lebanon : even the goats come from Hezbollah 229
13 Mali : a ballot box in Timbuktu 249
14 Bosnia : all these books, I got them from the Arabs 271
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)