The Spiders of Allah: Travels of an Unbeliever on the Frontline of Holy War

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St. Martin's Press, Jun 23, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages

In his fascinating, terrifying and often very funny book, James Hider takes his doubts about religious beliefs straight into the dark heart of the world’s holy wars—from Israel to Gaza to Iraq—the birthplace that spawned so many faiths—and then back to Jerusalem. From hardcore Zionist settlers still fighting ancient Biblical battles in the hills of the West Bank to Shiite death squads roaming the lawless streets of Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam; whether it's the misappropriation and martyrdom of Mickey Mouse by Gaza's Islamists, or a US president acting on God's orders, Hider sees the hallucinatory effect of what he calls the 'crack cocaine of fanatical fundamentalism' all around him. As he meets terrorists, suicide bombers, soldiers, ayatollahs, clerics, and ordinary and extraordinary people alike, the question that sparked his journey continues to plague his thoughts: how can people not only believe in this madness, but die and kill for it too? This extraordinary and timely book takes the God Delusion debate onto the streets of the Middle East. It casts an unflinching yet compassionate eye on the very worst and most violent crimes committed in the name of religion, and then sharply asks the questions the world needs to answer if we are ever to stand a chance of facing our own worst demons.  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Arctic-Stranger - LibraryThing

Some reviewers have noted this is not gonzo journalism, but that it has a touch of realism embedded within the writing that makes it a bit different. I did enjoy the book, once I got past the first ... Read full review

THE SPIDERS OF ALLAH: Travels of an Unbeliever on the Frontline of Holy War

User Review  - Kirkus

A British journalist's firsthand account of fanaticism and bloodshed in the Middle East.In his first book, Hider, the Middle East bureau chief for the Times (London), loosely examines the ways in ... Read full review


The Mickey Mouse Death Club
Fallen Idols Risen Angels
Cut Adrift

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About the author (2009)

James Hider is The Times Middle Eastern Bureau Chief, currently based in Jerusalem. This is his first book.

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