- Published: 16/02/2023
- ISBN: 9781783786473
- Granta Books
- 304 pages
What makes an extremist? From obscure cults to revolutionary movements, people have always been seduced by fringe beliefs. And in today’s deeply divided world, more people than ever are drawn to polarising ideologies. All too often we simply condemn those whose positions offend us, instead of trying to understand what draws people to the far edges of society — and what can pull them back again.
In Far Out, we meet eight people from across religious, ideological, and national divides who found themselves drawn to radical beliefs, including a young man who became the face of white supremacy in Trump-era America, a Norwegian woman sucked into a revolutionary conspiracy in the 1980s, a schoolboy who left Britain to fight in Syria, and an Australian from the far-left Antifa movement.
By immersing us in their stories, McDonald-Gibson challenges our ideas of who or what an extremist is, and shows us not only what we can do to prevent extremism in the future, but how we can start healing the rifts in our world today.
Far Out is an excellent mix of investigative journalism, entertaining storytelling and intelligent analysis. Its individual stories are like pieces of a puzzle that McDonald-Gibson assembles to offer deeply human insights into the drivers of radicalisation and extremism
Julia Eber, author of Going Dark
An eye opening and often moving account of how extremist thought takes hold. In Far Out, McDonald-Gibson asks us to open our hearts to those on the political extremes-for those with the most hateful views are the most in need of our forbearance and tolerance. A thoughtful and thought-provoking read
Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
Through illuminating narratives, Far Out provides examples of how radicalization takes hold around the world, and offers clues as to how we might best counter it
Christian Picciolini, author of Breaking Hate and White American Youth
From the Same Author
Riot police are shutting down borders, 800 lives are lost in a single shipwreck, a boy’s body washes up on a beach: this is the European Union in summer 2015. But how did a bloc founded upon the values of human rights and dignity for all reach this point? And what was driving millions of desperate people to risk their lives on the Mediterranean? Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has spent years reporting on every aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis, and Cast Away offers a vivid glimpse of the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines.
We meet Majid, a Nigerian boy who exchanges the violence of his homeland for Libya, only to be driven onto a rickety boat during Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on migrants. Nart is an idealistic young lawyer who risks imprisonment and torture in Syria until it is no longer safe for him to stay. Sina has to leave her new husband behind and take their unborn son across three continents to try and escape the Eritrean dictatorship. Mohammed is a teenager who dreams of becoming the world’s best electrician until he is called to serve as a foot-soldier in the Syrian army. And Hanan watches in horror as the safe life she built for her four children in Damascus collapses, and she has to entrust their lives to people smugglers.
While the politicians wrangle over responsibility, and the media talk in statistics, Cast Away brings to life the human consequences of the most urgent humanitarian issue of our time.
Charlotte McDonald-Gibson on Granta.com
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