A groundbreaking look inside the controversial field of deradicalization, told through the stories of former militants and the people working to bring them back into society, from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Carla Power.
What are the roots of radicalism? Journalist Carla Power came to this question well before the January 6, 2021, attack in Washington, D.C., turned our country’s attention to the problem of domestic radicalization. Her entry point was a different wave of radical panic—the way populists and pundits encouraged us to see the young people who joined ISIS or other terrorist organizations as simple monsters. Power wanted to chip away at the stereotypes by focusing not on what these young people had done but why: What drew them into militancy? What visions of the world—of home, of land, of security for themselves and the people they loved—shifted their thinking toward radical beliefs? And what visions of the world might bring them back to society?
Power begins her journey by talking to the mothers of young men who’d joined ISIS in the UK and Canada; from there, she travels around the world in search of societies that are finding new and innovative ways to rehabilitate former extremists. We meet an American judge who has staked his career on finding new ways to handle terrorist suspects, a Pakistani woman running a game-changing school for former child soldiers, a radicalized Somali American who learns through literature to see beyond his Manichean beliefs, and a former neo-Nazi who now helps disarm white supremacists. Along the way Power gleans lessons that get her closer to answering the true question at the heart of her pursuit: Can we find a way to live together?
An eye-opening, page-turning investigation, Home, Land, Security speaks to the rise of division and radicalization in all forms, both at home and abroad. In this richly reported and deeply human account, Carla Power offers new ways to overcome the rising tides of extremism, one human at a time.
Praise for Home, Land, Security
“In these riveting, character-driven pages, Power encourages us to resist moral binaries of ‘good and evil’ as we work toward countering terrorist groups—and the loved ones held in their sway.” —Esquire, in The Best Books of Fall 2021
“Carla Power’s captivating new book is as thrilling as it is urgent. It is an intense, heartfelt journey combining meticulous research with awe-inspiring resolve. This masterful work provides answers for anyone seeking to understand the journey out of extremism and should be required reading for practitioners and policymakers the world over.” —Dr. John Horgan, Distinguished University Professor, Georgia State University
“In Home, Land, Security, Carla Power does for Islamist extremists what she did for Islam and Muslims more generally in her highly acclaimed book If the Oceans Were Ink. She builds bridges of understanding for those frequently dehumanized by the political and media elite. Power remains in a class of her own when it comes to penetrating hostility and hatred to find the underlying humanity.”
Todd Green, professor of religion, Luther College, and author of Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism
“Home, Land, Security takes us into worlds where no two stories are alike, yet the same human impulses and anxieties—a hunger for meaning, a need to belong, a fear of vulnerability and irrelevance—drive ordinary people to do things that most of us can’t fathom. With knowledge, insight, journalistic rigor and an impeccable balance of skepticism and empathy, Carla Power delivers a stunner of a book.”
Meghan Daum, author of The Problem With Everything: My Journey Though The New Culture Wars