My Heart Became Attached: The Strange Odyssey of John Walker Lindh

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9781574885804: My Heart Became Attached: The Strange Odyssey of John Walker Lindh

Includes material gathered from a personal interview with John Walker Lindh - Provides an intimate exploration of the motivation and beliefs of the radical Islamists and their most famous American adherent - Contains never-before-seen photos of John Walker Lindh What would cause an otherwise intelligent, well-educated, and, by all accounts, privileged Californian to forgo an easy life in the United States to struggle for survival in a land of strife and mortal danger? With this question in mind, journalist Mark Kukis retraces the personal and spiritual evolution of the most reviled American traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald. "My Heart Became Attached" provides a detailed biographical account of John Walker Lindh's journey, beginning with his childhood in an affluent San Francisco suburb. Kukis then follows Lindh's footsteps to Yemen, where he learned Arabic and radical Islam, and on through the wild hinterlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The journey culminates with the violent prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif. While conducting research, Kukis achieved unparalleled access to major players in Lindh's life. In Pakistan, Kukis found the militants from the jihadi group that trained with Lindh in a Pakistani camp. Kukis also conducted several rounds of interviews with Lindh's friend who initially settled him in an Islamic boarding school, with Lindh's instructor there, and with fellow pupils in the hardscrabble Pakistani village where he studied the Koran before journeying into Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Kukis interviewed Taliban soldiers who fought at Mazar-i-Sharif and General Dostum, warlord of the region. Ex-roommates, family members, and friends all contributed to Kukis's research, resulting in the most thorough portrait available of the American Taliban.

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About the Author:

Currently based in Washington, D.C., MARK KUKIS left a job as a White House correspondent for United Press International shortly after September 11 to cover the war in Afghanistan as a freelance correspondent working closely with the online magazine Salon.com. This is his first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Investigating the transformation of John Walker Lindh from a typical American teenager into the most infamous turncoat of our day, Kukis, a former UPI White House correspondent, traces the influences that played a part in Lindh's metamorphosis, from his California childhood to his capture in Mazar-i-Sharif. While unable to interview the young man himself (due, according to the publisher, to Attorney General Ashcroft's gag order) or his parents, the author draws from conversations he had with those who knew Lindh and witnessed his experiences-friends, teachers, lawyers, fellow students, family members and Taliban soldiers-all the way from San Francisco to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Despite all the hype surrounding Lindh, Kukis "vowed to keep an open mind" in the research and writing of his biography, and expresses his hope that "understanding Lindh...will help us, as Americans at war, to reflect on ourselves as well as the enemies we face." B&w photos, maps.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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