Cover Image: Homegrown

Homegrown

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Member Reviews

This book gripped me as it explored the many ways in which ISIS has been more successful than other terrorist or extremist organizations in recruitment and engagement. Social media and international access to the internet have really changed the game in recruitment and have increased the involvement of American-born or raised extremist in violent plots, as people can now "contribute" from their own homes without needing to necessarily travel. I found the chapter reviewing how America has addressed countering violent extremism and rehabilitating extremists to be very interesting - there is much growth to be made here.
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This has the potential to be a fantastic book, to American and European readers, professionals and public alike. However, it is let down by the editorial in my opinion. A lot of the information is introduced multiple times, so even 10% of the way in it feels repetitive. I understand that the authors would like to provide the readers with an outline of what is being discussed but they do it in such detail and so often that it detracts from the book. If this book was re-edited and the authors were told they had to reduce the word count by a 1/3 and had to really think about every sentence, then this book would be something special. For me, it feels like déjà vu.
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OMG. I loved this book. It really made me understand how someone could turn to those in ISIS for belonging and how the recruitment actually could happen on social media. I am fascinated by this with how technology can enable certain behaviors like this to happen right here under our noses. Really, really good read.
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Sometimes you get a non-fiction book that can be incredibly dry or read like someone is submitting a thesis - thankfully, that is not the case here.  Guiding the reader through the intricacies of ISIS radicalization and recruitment within the US allows us to gain a better understanding of how, where and why individuals are drawn to a terrorist organisation.  Whilst the book focuses on the US, parallels can be drawn on foreign policy and radicalization techniques globally.  An insightful read.
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I received the book for reading in advance and I have almost finished it, and I can now say that the book is a very important addition to the whole discourse about ISIS and the propaganda of the organization. 

It's not just about how ISIS attracts people in the United States - a territory that I think researchers and journalists, myself included, are still unfamiliar with. It is also about the operational activities of the group, the motives of members and its supporters. I recommend both ordinary readers and researchers reading this book.
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I have always enjoyed security studies whether foreign or domestic. I absolutely loved this book and learned so much. It was extremely informative but not enough to ever bore the reader or overwhelm them.
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