"My Heart Became Attached": The Strange Odyssey of John Walker Lindh

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What would cause an intelligent, well-educated, and, by all accounts, privileged Californian to forgo an easy life in the United States to struggle for survival in a land of strife and mortal danger? With this question in mind, journalist Mark Kukis retraces the personal and spiritual evolution of the most reviled American traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald. "My Heart Became Attached" provides a detailed biographical account of John Walker Lindh's odyssey, beginning with his time growing up in an affluent San ...
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2003-09-01 Hardcover New New. There is slight shelf or time wear. Otherwise new. We Ship Every Day! Free Tracking Number Included! International Buyers Are Welcome! ... Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

What would cause an intelligent, well-educated, and, by all accounts, privileged Californian to forgo an easy life in the United States to struggle for survival in a land of strife and mortal danger? With this question in mind, journalist Mark Kukis retraces the personal and spiritual evolution of the most reviled American traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald. "My Heart Became Attached" provides a detailed biographical account of John Walker Lindh's odyssey, beginning with his time growing up in an affluent San Francisco suburb. Kukis then follows Lindh's footsteps to Yemen, where Lindh encountered radical Islam while studying Arabic, and on through the wild hinterlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The journey culminates with the violent prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif and ends with his military detention and criminal trial.

Searching for the truth about the enigmatic Lindh, Kukis himself traveled through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and California, seeking out everyone Lindh had crossed paths with during his own now infamous journey. While conducting research, Kukis achieved unparalleled access to major players in Lindh's life. In Pakistan, Kukis talked to militants from the terrorist group Harkat ul Mujaheddin, who trained with Lindh in a Pakistani camp. In the hard-scrabble Pakistani village where Lindh studied the Koran before journeying into Afghanistan, Kukis also conducted several rounds of interviews with Lindh's closest Pakistani friend, who had initially settled him into his Islamic boarding school, with Lindh's instructor, and with fellow pupils. In Afghanistan, Kukis interviewed Taliban soldiers who fought during the prison uprising in Mazar-i-Sharif and General Dostum, warlord of the region. Exroommates, teachers, and friends all contributed to Kukis's research, resulting in the most thorough portrait available of the character and exploits of "the American Taliban."

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Kukis painstakingly delineates the gap between the Justice Department's rhetoric about the "American Taliban," as Lindh was dubbed, and the reality of the flimsy case against him, which largely disintegrated. Rather than making political judgments of his own, Kukis vividly retraces Lindh's journey, step by step, in the manner of an adventure book. What he finds, as he eventually acknowledges, is the story of an almost blandly "average young man," whose seemingly naive exploration of his newfound religion, Islam, led him apparently almost thoughtlessly and unwittingly to embrace "the same feelings that drive the madmen terrorizing our world today." — Jane Mayer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574885804
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Author's Note xi
1 San Francisco to Sana'a 1
2 A New Kind of School 23
3 Purity and Piety on the Northwest Frontier 41
4 Answering the Call to Arms 68
5 The Taliban Caravan 91
6 An Uncertain Surrender 108
7 Jihad's Last Cry 121
8 Fame, Fear, and a Passage Home 137
9 The Mercies of an Anguished Nation 165
10 Faith and Silence 187
Epilogue 196
Bibliography 201
About the Author 203
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