In June 2014 Islamic State launched an astonishing blitzkrieg which saw them seize control of an area in the Middle East the size of Britain. The news was soon filled with their relentless acts of savagery, yet nobody seemed to know who they were or where they’d come from.
Now BBC reporter Andrew Hosken delivers the inside story on Islamic State. Through extensive first-hand reporting, Hosken builds a comprehensive picture of IS, their brutal ideology and exterminationist methods. Equally compelling and horrifying, Empire of Fear reveals how Islamic State came to be, explores how they might be defeated and asks a frightening question – if they were brought down, could we stop another group emerging to replace them?
'Hosken...tells the latest Middle East horror story all too well. We can only hope some of those in the West that have led us here are listening'.
‘Hosken is a valiant guide through the baffling complexities of the Middle East cauldron... his obvious integrity and command of the subject go a very long way in explaining the inexplicable. Perhaps to understand ISIS is eventually to defeat it. If so, Hosken deserves much credit for an enlightening if frightening read.’
– Independent on Sunday
– Evening Standard, Best Books of 2015
'Well-researched... Hosken's book provides a valuable service by giving a vivid account of what it is really like to live under one of the most repressive regimes of the modern age'
– Con Coughlin, Mail on Sunday
'it is imperative we understand the background and mentality of IS...Andrew Hosken's Empire of Fear is a very good place to start since it is highly informed and tells the story from obscure beginnings to the present, with some surprising discoveries on the way.'
– Evening Standard
‘Lively and chilling’
– The Times
‘Carefully crafted… Hosken steps judiciously between the victims, between the car bomb wrecks and among the major players of an organisation that has an astonishingly simple purpose… persuasive… meticulous… Hosken’s conclusions are measured but however quietly spoken they retain a frightening resonance’
– Hugh MacDonald, Sunday Herald
‘Hosken does an excellent job of sorting out the American reaction, the failure of the Iraqi leadership in the form of Nouri al-Maliki and others, and how IS has becomes the richest terrorist group in the world. A tremendously useful, insightful study of the frightening spread of a culture of death.’
– Kirkus, starred review
‘It's a bloody, violent tale, told here with compassion and a quest for understanding. Hosken explores these historical roots with depth and clarity; readers will come to understand a more focused version of what motivates the Islamic State.’
– Publishers Weekly
'Possesses the easy intelligibility of a well-thumbed history textbook. The story of IS advances in clear logical steps, without clunky pauses for melodrama or righteous indignation, and there is always a kind of cleanness to the analysis'.
‘Veteran BBC correspondent Andrew Hosken ably chronicles and thoroughly documents the rise of ISIS and its leaders – as well as explaining how the group managed, in a few short months, to threaten everything Americans and others fought and paid dearly to establish in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.’
– Christian Science Monitor
‘Of all the recent crop of books about the Islamic State, this is the best. It is well-written and superbly researched by someone who knows his subject intimately; if you want an authoritative, well-researched but above all readable account of this foul but for many all too appealing organisation, look no further – Empire of Fear is that book.’
– Frank Ledwidge, author of Losing Small Wars and Investment in Blood
‘Andy Hosken is a brilliant investigative reporter with an unerring eye for a story. The rise of the Islamic State is an event as seismic as it is widely misunderstood, and Empire of Fearis an essential contribution to fathoming the truth of what is currently happening in the Middle East.’
– Tom Holland, author of Persian Fire and In the Shadow of the Sword