America & Islam: Soundbites, Suicide Bombs, and the Road to Donald Trump

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Donald Trump’s first term as the 45th President of the United States of America has shocked the world. His attitudes towards Islam became a key point of contention on the campaign trail, and in power Trump has continued his war of divisive words and deeds. Here, acclaimed journalist Lawrence Pintak scrutinizes America’s relationship with Islam since its foundation. Casting Donald Trump as a symptom of decades of misunderstanding and demonization of the Islamic world, as well as a cause of future tensions, Pintak shows how and why America’s relationship with the world’s largest religion has been so fractious, damaging and self-defeating.

“Insightful, well-written, challenging. Pintak is both a globe-trotting journalist and a distinguished scholar. He’s not afraid to challenge assumptions, group-think, and the powerful.”

  • Dan Rather, former anchor, The CBS Evening News

“For many years, Pintak has used his unique blend of scholarly exactitude, deep area knowledge and the accessibility and clarity of a seasoned foreign correspondent to illuminate the bewildering array of events that cascade from the broader Middle East. Now, he broadens his aperture to view the interaction between the United States and Islam. His unblinking focus on open bigotry toward almost two billion people and the distortion of the religion they follow will not make you comfortable. But it may make you understand that words count and that the current poisoned discourse is doing grave damage to international security and our own social fabric. America has a long history of adopting morally wrong and  strategically dangerous policies, and then correcting course. Pintak shines light on the dangers and then shows a way forward. May we be wise enough to take it.”

  • Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Lebanon and Kuwait

“In this thoughtful and well researched book, Pintak takes a close look at why a deep misunderstanding of Islam still persists in America. The result is an honest, fair, clear and timely appraisal in which Pintak deftly avoids the temptation to simplify or patronize the complex dynamics at play in Islam today.”

  • Clarissa Ward, CNN chief international correspondent

“Lawrence Pintak’s America & Islam provides a valuable roadmap to what he calls ‘the dark side’ of America’s long relationship with the world of Islam. It provides rare access to an impressive range of Muslim voices, while addressing one of the central questions of the American experience: How did we get where we are today? We ignore Pintak’s findings at our peril.”

  • Jonathan Lyons, author of Islam through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism

“In America and Islam, Lawrence Pintak presents a clear-eyed view of the fraught relationship between America and the Muslim world. Numerous American politicians seem eager to make enemies of the global Islamic community, relying on ignorance and mendacity to make their case. Pintak relies instead on the facts and first-hand reporting essential to understanding the realities of Islam. This is a timely and valuable book.”

  • Philip Seib, University of Southern California. Author of The Future of #Diplomacy.