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Mission Al-Jazeera

Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World

Josh Rushing and Sean Elder

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Blending his riveting personal story with innovative ideas about how to win the war on terror, former marine turned Al Jazeera reporter Josh Rushing addresses all the issues he was not allowed to talk about when he was in uniform. If we are to win the war on terror, Rushing explains, we have to interact with the media at home and abroad in order to control the way we are perceived. By refusing to appear on Al Jazeera, Western leaders allow people who disagree with the current administration to represent the West to the Arab world in a skewed, negative way. By taking readers inside Al Jazeera, Rushing offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the controversial news channel and shows how the West can harness it to its advantage, relay a positive message to the Arab public, and hear what it has to say in return. 

REVIEWS

Praise for Mission Al-Jazeera

"From gyrene to jihadi journalist--it's not the usual American career trajectory. . . . Rushing is still trying to explain America to the Arab world and vice versa, and his vignettes clearly reveal what a tough job that is. A long list of people won't like this book, from George Bush to Gary Busey. Gary Busey? Yes--and that's just one instance of culture clash."--Kirkus   
 
"A useful, informative effort to offer a different perspective on the cultural divide between Americans and Arabs."--Jay Freeman, Booklist
 
"Rushing has created an interesting . . . earnest, narrative."--Dave Shifflet, Bloomberg.com
 
"[Rushing's] modest proposal is worth hearing."--Cameron Scott, Mother Jones 
 
"Rushing argues that what matters is for news consumers to arise from 'fearful passivity.' Only wide listening and reading, he writes, can grant independence of mind." - Mary H. Meier, The Boston Globe
 
"Civilization's struggle with terrorists is not primarily a struggle of bombs, bullets and bayonets but a struggle of ideas.  Al Jazeera English is one of the most effective ways to expose and examine these ideas.  If you want to know why and how, read this book." --Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2002-2005 
 
"A captivating and unique insider's account of one American soldier's experience in Iraq, and how that led to his involvement with a critical element of the war: the rise of Al Jazeera and the development of Arab media. This is a strong wake up call to the West that not only exposes the conditions that have lead to our deteriorating relations with the Arab world but provides a brave way forward. It's time to listen to Josh Rushing."--Michael Wolff, Columnist, Vanity Fair
 
"Josh Rushing is a precious national resource -- and a global voice for understanding instead of polarizing. His unique story gives reason for hope that human bonds are stronger than rigid propaganda. At a time when easy cliches are drowning us in media sewage and boosting daily carnage, Rushing offers a perspective that could lead us to high moral ground and true international security. He lays bare the mental gymnastics and moral compromises that substituted PR flackery for integrity on the road to war in Iraq. And he symbolizes the fact that honesty and compassion are imperatives for human survival on this planet. Instead of pursuing a career as a Pentagon spokesman, Josh Rushing has opted to seek and speak truth. The world will benefit."--Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
 
“A lot of people are ill-informed and scared about what they believe is a clash of civilizations. Rushing is one of few American patriots who are willing to challenge the misinformation about the Arab world’s relationship with America. In this book, Rushing delivers a candid and honest American’s perspective on what is true and what is not.  His willingness to tell the truth and challenge political agendas is a smart and brave effort to educate both sides. This is essential reading for people who want the real, gritty picture of what is going on between the Arab and Muslim world and the USA.”--Riz Khan
 
"Some people will try and ignore Josh Rushing's message, but his story is too extraordinary to be dismissed. Understanding his message requires strength and moral courage. I have rarely been as impressed with another human being as I am with him." --Richard Dreyfuss
 
"It's too bad for the Marines [that Rushing is] moving on. He convinced a lot of skeptical people in the Arab press that there are those in the U.S. military coming from the right place."--Jehane Noujaim, Director, Control Room
 
"A bracingly candid account of his [Rushing's] growing disillusionment with the war on terror."--Rebecca Sinderbrand, New York Observer
 
"Of the many accounts about those who have shifted gears, switched uniforms or crossed the divide between one camp and the other, few have been as intriguing or captivating as that of a young Marine Captain-turned-Al-Jazeera journalist--Josh Rushing."--The Ambassadors
 
"an entertaining and unique account of Al Jazeera International by an insider who arrived at the TV channel from an unlikely background."
--Roy Greenslade
 
"With America losing the information and public relations war around the world today, "Mission al-Jazeera" is a fascinating and timely book that should be required reading by the many Administration Public Affairs and press secretary's."
--Andrew Lubin, Reviewer's Bookwatch
 
"An eye-opener for readers....reads quickly and clearly."--The National Catholic Weekly
 
"revelatory and insightful" - Choice

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Josh Rushing and Sean Elder

  • Josh Rushing works for Al Jazeera English as a military and current affairs correspondent. While providing news packages and insight on military issues, the Texas native also shoots thought-provoking stand-alone specials and long-form documentaries. A former U.S. Marine captain with 15 years of service, Josh served as a spokesperson at Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Unbeknownst to him the documentary film, Control Room, captured his efforts to communicate the American message on Al Jazeera and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. The film was released in theaters across America and on DVD by Lionsgate Films.
    Josh speaks to universities and organizations across America and around the world. He has been featured in GQ, Fast Company magazine, Time Magazine, and USA Today , and has appeared on The Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and The O'Reilly Factor. Josh lives in Washington, D.C, with his wife and two sons. More can be found about Josh at www.JoshRushing.com http://www.joshrushing.com/. Sean Elder work has appeared in Salon.com, Details, New York magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and many other publications. He teaches writing at the Eugene Lang College at theNew School and lives in Brooklyn.
  • Josh Rushing
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    Mission Al-Jazeera

    Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World

    Josh Rushing and Sean Elder

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