This project's funding goal was not reached on November 8, 2012.
About this project
Don't think it's possible to fight terrorism, help end the War on Drugs, and revolutionize the way books get published with a single click? It is, and it begins with you.
For the first time, an entire book on the history, origins, and future of terrorism is available online in an easy-to-navigate format, totally for free. Tremble the Devil was written by a Harvard-educated counterterrorism analyst, it combines compelling narratives with approachable academic explanations into an intriguing and salient book that reads like a novel. It’s an accessible, fast-paced distillation of everything you need to know about the world’s most dangerous phenomenon.
From the start terrorism has been framed as the work of the Devil himself, but this is a troubling misconception: terrorism is nothing more than the continuation of ancient wars by modern means. Terrorism and warfare are inextricably linked, they've always been two sides of the same coin - men we think of as terrorists see themselves as soldiers fighting in the defense of their own communities.
And in modern day America, the most likely source of violence isn't from outside infiltration, it's from a violent implosion of our innercities brought on by America's increasing economic inequality. An inequality that began to worsen in lockstep with the War on Drugs, and which is deepening with every passing day. Every day that the gap between rich and poor widens is another tick in the countdown towards unrest, so it's never been more urgent to spread a message that promotes calmly assessing what's going on around us instead of instinctively lashing out in fear.
Writing Tremble the Devil has consumed my life since I walked away from my counterterrorism analysis job and poured my life into trying to get it out there. To get an idea of what readers have thought so far you can check out excerpts from their reviews by clicking here, or read them in their entirety on Amazon.
This journey began with a simple idea: fear is the lifeblood of terrorism and we all fear the unknown, so there's no better counter to terrorism than simply spreading understanding. This campaign is about finally finishing that journey with your help and encouragement
Why I need your help.
The whole book is available online where anyone can read it in its entirety for free. That will never change. Why have I done that? Because I believe the book carries an incredibly important message, one that will help undermine any terrorist attacks that happen in the future. And spreading this message is vital, it's much more important than turning a profit.
But after years of researching, writing, and editing it's become clear that the book's message won't reach a wide audience on its own.
Making "Tremble the Devil" into print as a high-quality product that people can hold in their hands requires expensive registration fees, editing, and graphic design work. I've realized that's not something I can do on my own - I need your help to break through the noise and get the book in print as a polished, legitimate work of literature. Although I was able to compile a rough, unedited e-book that's gotten solid reviews on Amazon, producing and releasing a professional print edition of the book is a much more daunting task. And nearly as important as the book itself is funding a comprehensive and effective media campaign, which will require significant resources and commitment.
For the first time, instead of making a pledge towards a book that you may or may not actually like when you get it on down the road, you can check the book out online right now. If you do like it, choose a reward level on the right. Hold on though - why would anyone pay for something they can access for free? Am I crazy?
Or just crazy like a fox?
Have you ever actually been kicked out of a bookstore for sitting around previewing a book for too long? That was the whole dynamic that bookstores were built on. You weren't paying for access - you were paying to take a copy of the book with you to read whenever and wherever you pleased. And as bookstores domino down into bankruptcy it may only be a matter of time before libraries start cutting back as well.
Paulo Coelho already laid the groundwork for this approach: after uploading a Russian translation of The Alchemist onto torrenting sites, he saw his Russian book sales go from 1,000 per year to 100,000 and then off into the millions. By supporting this campaign you can help finish what he started, and encourage other authors to buy into this approach - turning the entire internet into one giant bookshelf for the whole world.
What better way to help perpetuate the future free flow of information than forever changing the way books are published - taking the power out of the hands of giant corporations and putting it firmly into your own?
With protests sparked by economic disparity erupting across Europe and the Middle East, it's only a matter of time until unrest comes to our shores - the clock is ticking, and it's never been more urgent to spread a message that will help defuse the tension. America is very clearly at a crossroads, and there's never been a more vital time to spread awareness and understanding - the most potent antidotes to hate and fear.
The most likely source of violence is a threat that's rarely talked about in the media.
Terrorists who show up from other nations don't understand what makes America tick, and so they're incapable of striking our pressure points and genuinely threatening our national existence. Their bombs fizzle, their attacks are one-offs, and its our media that does the vast majority of their job for them. And the reality is that most terrorists are markedly lacking in the brains department to begin with.
Abraham Lincoln once said that "America will never be destroyed from the outside - if we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
The War on Drugs has absolutely gutted African-American families, although blacks make up just 14% of all drug users, over half of those in prison for drug offenses are black. And in the first decade of the War a cycle of absence began in black families as the proportional decline in black marriages tripled, largely because 90% of those arrested under the Rockefeller Drug Laws were minorities. With so many bread-winners locked away, the economic situation of black folks began to decline back in 1973, right as the War kicked into full gear. Today the average black family has just eight-cents of wealth for every dollar owned by a white family.
All the War on Drugs has done is destroy the family structure of our black communities, create more crime, and make hard drugs cheaper, more potent, and more prevalent.
And the War will never end until people understand just how damaging it's been, and realize that the cycle of absence within black families the War on Drugs created is both profoundly immoral and an immense threat to our security. When you fully understand the history of terrorism, you become aware of the fact that its most potent form is as a gyre of retributive violence that draws its strength from social injustice.
Check the book out before you decide
Head on over to the website where you can read the entire book for free. Start from the beginning, or choose a section or chapter that seems the most interesting and see if it's your thing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thank you so much for your support!
Risks and challenges
Since "Tremble the Devil" is already written I feel like I've already overcome the biggest challenge and taken the risks inherent in pouring everything I've got into writing a book. Going forward it's still going to take a tremendous amount of energy and determination to finish pushing the book out into the world, but there's always the potential for speed-bumps along the way.
Getting the book into print is going to require coordinating with several different third parties: graphic design work needs to be down for the various jackets, I'm going to need to correspond with at least one editor as the manuscript gets polished and refined, and proofs from the printing house are going to have to be checked and re-checked for alignment issues and other errors. I've already done the research into what I'll need to do in all these areas, and at this point it's just a matter of being able to procure payment.
And with any luck I'll be able to drum up enough interest to coordinate an official nationwide book launch at major retailers, but that's a chicken I can't promise we'll be able to count on hatching - although hopefully the worst-case is a regional release at smaller chains.
I'm not going to settle for anything short of perfect after all this time, so there's the potential that my hoped-for November delivery date may have to be nudged back later on down the road - but should that happen, I'll be sure to keep you posted and updated here as soon as any issues arise. Hopefully things will proceed smoothly, but there's always the potential for curveballs.
I've kept on keeping on this long so there's no way I'm going to stop once I have the resources that will come from a successful Kickstarter campaign for "Tremble the Devil," and I'm beyond excited to be able to release a print edition that anyone in the world will be able to quite literally get their hands on!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
At Harvard I was basically part of a government training program that paid my way so long as I worked long enough after graduation to work off the debt. But over time I began to realize I was simply writing reports that went nowhere, and also began to grow disillusioned with how our government was going about trying to fight terrorism:
Two reasons. The first is to just get the word out as widely as possible, I think I have an important message that clears up a lot of misconceptions about terrorism as well as life and culture in the Middle East as well. Plus the information about the racial wealth disparity created by the War on Drugs is equally important.
The second reason is because I think this sort of economic model is the future of publishing, because mainstream established publishing has been a gong show for a very long while:
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