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Who Are Daesh? Understanding the New Terrorism (Qui est Daech?)



Original Language: French | 96 pp. | December 2015

Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, and English (USA & Canada) Rights.

Rights sold: Brazil (Autêntica Editora), Spain (Paidos, World), Sweden (Vaktel)


‘Is time too important to be left to the physicists and their measuring devices?’ That was the issue at stake in a 1922 debate between Albert Einstein and philosopher Henri Bergson, celebrated at the time and wonderfully recovered in Jimena Canales’s new book. “A fascinating look at a pivotal moment in how we think about one of the most fundamental features of the universe.” – Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

On 13 November 2015 in Paris, less than a year after the killings of January, 130 people were murdered in cold blood on restaurant terraces and at a concert venue by men with a steely determination. These terrorists of a new kind, who may resurface at any time in the major cities of the West, proclaim their membership of Daesh.

Through the sheer violence of its murderous attacks on French soil and its territorial expansion in Iraq and Syria, this shadowy network prompts fascination and terror in equal measure. What are the aims of this self-declared Islamic State which seeks to restore the caliphate of the 8th century, from which it borrows the black flag, the persecution of infidels and the practice of beheading? Who are the progenitors and sponsors of this apocalyptic monster which is devoted more to a cult of death than it is to Islam, whose spirit it perverts? How are Daesh managing to reopen the wounds inflicted by the American wars in the Middle East? How are they exploiting the ideological divide between Shias and Sunnis? And what strategies should be adopted to combat them?

Containing analyses by leading experts on Islam and the Middle East, texts by writers, historians and philosophers who contribute to the weekly newspaper Le 1, and also an in-depth dossier casting light on the nature and history of Daesh, this book offers a rich and insightful portrait of this disturbing protagonist which has burst onto the world stage, supplanting al-Qaida as the new leading force in international terrorism.

Les Indispensables [The Indispensable Collection] is a collection of short and information-rich books, authored by writers and experts from every field, which offer insight into the major issues raised by contemporary events. The aim of this multidisciplinary approach, which combines factual precision with academic analysis, is to provide the reader with a comprehensive and multifaceted vision of the contemporary world, its mutations, its ruptures and its advances. By adopting a diverse range of perspectives, each book will offer a broad spectrum of opinion. Les Indispensables are books designed to inspire and to inform, enabling readers to form their own opinions on complex subjects without recourse to biased judgements or received ideas. A dossier at the end of the book, consisting of the main timelines, the key statistics, a glossary and frequently asked questions, complements these contributions.

Éric Fottorino, a writer and former director of Le Monde, is the author of Baisers de cinéma (Prix Femina 2007), L’homme qui m’aimait tout bas (Grand Prix of Elle Readers 2010) and Questions à mon père.

The contributors:
Edgar Morin • Tahar Ben Jelloun • Olivier Roy • Régis Debray Hélène Thiollet • Michel Foucher • Hosham Dawod • Michel Onfray • Dounia Bouzar • Laurent Greilsamer Raphaël Liogier • Dominique Schnapper • Henry Laurens Jean-Christophe Rufin • Gilles Kepel • Leïla Slimani Gérard Chaliand • Olivier Weber • Jean-Pierre Filiu • Robert Solé



Sweden (Vaktel)