Book Review: ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the Islamic State

Brent D. Singleton


In the past two years there has been a proliferation of books aimed at educating readers about all aspects of ISIS and its development. While this work falls within this corpus, it is unique in its hybrid reference book format. The first part of the work provides nine sections of topical snapshots such as, “What Is In a Name?: IS, ISIS, ISIL, Da’ash,” “The Attraction of ISIS,” and “ISIS and the Media.” Within some of these sections there are encyclopedic entries arranged topically, for instance under “Leaders of ISIS” four biographies are given. The next part of the work is a typical A-Z encyclopedia of nearly seventy people, places, and ideas associated with the group. The entries are subdivided into sections including, “What is important?” or “Why does it matter?” and “Key events in his life” when discussing people. For subjects covered earlier in the topical portion of the work, there are “see” references back to that section.

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