• How Long Will Israel Survive?

    Gregg Carlstrom

    The greatest threat to Israel may come from within, not without, as Carlstrom explains in his deft account of a nation’s identity crisis. Israel is surrounded by an array of ever-changing threats. But what if its most serious challenge comes from within? There was once a national consensus in Israeli society: despite a left-right political split, its people were broadly secular and liberal. Over the past decade, the country has fractured into tribes with little shared understanding of what it means to be a Zionist—let alone an Israeli—and contesting the very notion of a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state. While this shift has profound implications for Israel’s relationship with the broadly liberal Jewish diaspora, the greatest consequences will be felt at home. Israel’s tribes increasingly lead separate lives; even the army, once a great melting-pot, is now a political and cultural battleground. Tamir Pardo, former head of Mossad, has warned of the risk of civil war. Gregg Carlstrom maps this conflict, from cosmopolitan Tel Aviv to the hilltops of the West Bank, and asks a pressing question: will the Middle East’s strongest power survive its own internal contradictions?


    Gregg Carlstrom is a correspondent for The Times and The Economist, based in Tel Aviv. He contributes to a number of other publications, including The AtlanticForeign PolicyNew York magazine and others. He was previously based in Cairo, and before that as a Doha-based reporter for Al Jazeera English, covering the region from Tunisia to Iraq. He was born in New York and graduated from Northwestern University.


    ‘Useful primer for those seeking to understand Israeli politics and society. [Carlstrom’s] “threat from within” is the rise of right-wing and ultra-religious trends that put a strain on the ties that bind Israel.’ — David Aaronovitch, The Times

    ‘Carlstrom’s engrossing book doesn’t trade in dire warnings but offers a sobering look at contemporary Israel and its future.’ — Publishers Weekly

    ‘Carlstrom considers a near-term future in which Israel is destroyed — not by external enemies but instead torn apart by civil war. … A provocative, highly readable view of a nation that seems headed for more trouble, this time from within.’ — Kirkus Reviews

    ‘Readable and refreshingly straightforward … [Carlstrom] gives the reader a lot of facts to ponder.’ — The Jordan Times

    ‘How Long Will Israel Survive is an X-ray examination of a critically ill Western democracy. Gregg Carlstrom clearly shows that the blood vessels of Israel’s democracy are narrowing due to heavy social tensions and the cost of occupying the Palestinians. This book is a rare look into the same processes that in the twentieth century created Apartheid in South Africa and central Europe’s authoritarian regimes.’ — Menachem Klein, senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, Israel; author of Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron

    ‘By turning the lens on Israel and shedding light on the impulses that are tearing the country apart, Gregg Carlstrom sheds new light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How Long Will Israel Survive lays bare a number of myths about Zionism, the occupation, and settlements. This nuanced, thoughtful, and deeply researched book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Israel and its broader conflicts.’ — Mya Guarnieri Jaradat, author of The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel’s New Others

    ‘A damning indictment of modern day Israel that rightly condemns its descent into permanent occupation over the Palestinian people. What this means for the Jewish people, in Israel and the Diaspora, as well as the Palestinians, should be compulsory reading for anybody who still harbours any illusions about the real agenda of Israel.’ — Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist and author of My Israel Question and Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe

    ‘Well written, topical and hard hitting, this accessible, passionate and challenging book intersperses the personal and professional experiences of the author with the history and politics of Israeli society. Carlstrom has a strong opinion on what has gone wrong and what needs to be done. He deserves a wide audience for this work.’ — Rory Miller, Professor of Government at Georgetown University, Qatar

    ‘Gregg Carlstrom gives us a closely reported picture of Israel as it is today: more in danger from internal threats to its democracy and its identity than from any outside enemy. This book asks all the important questions about Israel’s future.’ — Gershom Gorenberg, senior correspondent for The American Prospect and author of The Unmaking of IsraelThe Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977; and The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount

    August 2017 / 9781849048040 / 256pp


  • Loyal Enemies

    Jamie Gilham

    Loyal Enemies uncovers the history of the earliest British converts to Islam who lived their lives freely as Muslims on British soil, from the 1850s to the 1950s. Drawing on original archival research, it reveals that people from across the range of social classes defied convention by choosing Islam in this period. Through a series of case studies of influential converts and pioneering Muslim communities, Loyal Enemies considers how the culture of Empire and imperialism influenced and affected their conversions and subsequent lives, before examining how they adapted and sustained their faith. Jamie Gilham shows that, although the overall number of converts was small, conversion to Islam aroused hostile reactions locally and nationally. He therefore also probes the roots of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims, identifies their manifestations and explores what conversion entailed socially and culturally. He also considers whether there was any substance to persistent allegations that converts had ‘divided’ loyalties between the British Crown and a Muslim ruler, country or community. Loyal Enemies is a book about the past, but its core themes—about faith and belief, identity, Empire, loyalties and discrimination—are still salient today.


    Jamie Gilham is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam, 1850-1950.


    Loyal Enemies is a carefully researched and fascinatingly detailed investigation of the British individuals who converted to Islam during the century-long territorial apogee of the British Empire. … It is time to celebrate the pantheon of Anglo-Muslims to allow Muslims in contemporary Britain to feel part of an older indigenous tradition.’ — Barnaby Rogerson, Times Literary Supplement

    ‘In this meticulously researched and pioneering study, Jamie Gilham brings to life the struggles of the courageous (and often eccentric) British individuals who converted to Islam during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. Theirs was a difficult choice and the lives of these converts raise broad questions about integration and religious and national loyalties. Some converts had international reputations, though others were much more obscure, but, taken together, all their lives shed an unexpected and fascinating light on the grander events which provided the context for their embrace of Islam, including the Indian Mutiny, the Eastern Question, the Great War, the abolition of the Caliphate, the growing popularity of Sufism in the West and, finally, the mass immigration of Muslims from the former British Empire after the Second World War.’ — Robert Irwin, Senior Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and author of Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties

    ‘This is an excellent text on the history of Muslim converts in the Victorian and Edwardian period up until the arrival of post-Second World War migrations, and appears at a time when young British Muslims are rediscovering or uncovering their shared history in the UK. Jamie Gilham’s research is exemplary, shedding light on the motivations for conversion and the processes of situating Islam in a new European environment. Loyal Enemies should be required reading for anyone interested in the creation of a Muslim presence in the UK.’ — Ron Geaves, Professor of Studies of Religions, Liverpool Hope University, and author of Abdullah Quilliam: The Life and Times of a Victorian Muslim

    ‘This is a well-researched and extraordinary account of British converts to Islam, ranging from my great-grandfather’s elder brother Henry Stanley, first Muslim peer of the realm, to ‘Harry’ St John Philby, uncritical fan of Ibn Saud and Wahabism. They all swam resolutely against the tide of public opinion of their day.’ — Lord Avebury, Liberal Democrat Peer

    ‘Gilham explores how from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century a small stream of Britons, in the face of public criticism, converted to Islam. They ranged from the aristocratic Lord Stanley of Alderley to the middle-class Abdullah Quilliam to the working-class wives of lascars in the port cities. It is a fascinating story which demonstrates how, before the large Muslim migrations of the 1950s, Islam already had firm roots in British society.’ — Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London

    ‘Based on rigorous research and analysis, this study excavates the “hidden” history of a unique group of British Muslim converts, who found themselves lampooned as infidels and traitors, and whose allegiances and identities were frequently questioned. It is indispensable reading for anyone seeking insights on the genealogy of Islam in Britain today.’ — Humayun Ansari, Professor of the History of Islam and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of ‘The Infidel Within’: Muslims in Britain Since 1800

    ‘This is a well-written and masterly analysis of one of the most interesting aspects of the foundations of British Islam. Set in the cultural, social and political context of the height of empire, the author provides lively and well-researched accounts of prominent personalities and their path to Islam.’ — Jørgen S. Nielsen, Hon. Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen

    ‘[T]his is a timely study of considerable significance for scholarship of Islam in Britain. … Gilham has pored over innumerable sources, ranging from learned journals and archival materials to more popular publications and full-length academic studies, … to produce this meticulously researched and invaluable volume. … [A] pioneering study that for the first time pieces together this story, portions of which are better known but much of which sees light for the first time as part of a cohesive, historical account.’ — Journal of British Studies

    ‘Not only is Gilham’s study fascinating and very readable, but he provides a great deal of documentation to primary and secondary sources, so that his book will be a starting-point for any future work in this field.’ — Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Bulletin

    Loyal Enemies is a well researched book and brings out the fact that there is nothing new or alien about Islam in Britain.’ — Asian Affairs

    Hardback / May 2014 / 9781849042758 / 256pp

  • Republic of Islamophobia

    Jim Wolfreys

    Islamophobia in France is rising, with Muslims subjected to unprecedented scrutiny of what they wear, eat and say. Championed by Marine Le Pen and drawing on the French colonial legacy, France’s ‘new secularism’ gives racism a respectable veneer. Jim Wolfreys exposes the dynamic driving this intolerance: a society polarised by inequality, and the authoritarian neoliberalism of the French political mainstream. This officially sanctioned Islamophobia risks going unchallenged. It has divided the traditional anti-racist movement and undermined the left’s opposition to bigotry. Wolfreys deftly unravels the problems facing those trying to confront today’s rise in racism. Republic of Islamophobia illuminates both the uniqueness of France’s anti-Muslim backlash and its broader implications for the West.


    Jim Wolfreys lectures in French and European politics at King’s College London. He is co-author (with Peter Fysh) of The Politics of Racism in France.


    ‘Wolfreys’ writing is that of a political insider, underpinned by academic rigour. This book is a wake-up call, warning of the creep of Islamophobia into mainstream French political discourse and its dire consequences if left unchecked. It is vital reading for policy makers and commentators alike.’ — Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, author of The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain

    ‘A powerful tale of France’s Islamophobic spiral. Rich in detail and with a keen ear for the ironies of moral panics around veiling, violence, and values, Wolfreys shows France’s importance in this globally emerging phenomenon. A compelling argument for the links between political Islamophobia, neoliberalism, and the failures of the left.’ — Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims Are Coming! 

    ‘An authoritative and lucid account of France’s descent into societal disaster. This excruciating and at times shocking catalogue of political mis-steps strongly suggests a far more dangerous ‘enemy within’ than the Muslim one we constantly hear about. Could the French experience be repeated here in the UK? Wolfreys’ book is a warning to us all.’ — James Fergusson, author of Al-Britannia, My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain

    ‘A sharp-eyed, merciless and up-to-the-minute analysis of France’s current travails, which are also Britain’s’. — Robert Gildea, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford, and author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance

    February 2018 / 9781849046886 / 208pp