The Jihadis Return is a brisk, yet thoroughgoing, overview of the resurgence of jihadi movements in the region. Though published in August of last year [2014], and thus not including the many developments since that time, Cockburn’s book is by no means out of date. It is rather an extremely important and highly readable examination of the root causes of Sunni jihadism’s recent renascence, combined with a brief history of the Syrian conflict and a masterful chapter focusing on the media’s role in obscuring the true nature of the unrest.

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