Praise for “I Was Told To Come Alone”
Top 10 Books of 2017, November 15, 2017
"In her memoir of 15 years of covering jihadists, journalist Souad Mekhennet sets out to answer a perennial question: Why do they hate us?"
June 16, 2017
"[Souad Mekhenet] combines memoir with in-depth stories about her reporting to create a complex portrait of identity, conflict and ideology."
June 14, 2017
"A much-needed cry of tough, informed humanism, needed now more than ever."
Best Books of 2017
"Journalistic coups abound in ... Mekhennet's behind-the-scenes account of her experiences attempting to untangle the roots of Islamic extremism"
June 15, 2017
"A remarkable record of a Muslim woman struggling to understand those who kill in the name of her religion, and to explain their actions to the uncomprehending Western world to which she belongs. Time and again, she picks arguments with Muslims who think the West is at war with Islam, and with other Europeans who think all Muslims are terrorists."
June 13, 2017
"She is, first and foremost, a brave, resourceful, canny and tireless reporter. Additionally, she is Muslim, and a woman. By nationality and birth, she is German, with a Moroccan Sunni father and a Turkish Shiite mother, and she speaks English, German, French and Arabic. Jihadism in the past five years has been principally a European and Arab story, and Mekhennet is geographically, linguistically and personally poised to tell it."
April 23, 2017
"Washington Post correspondent Mekhennet offers a spellbinding fusion of history, memoir, and reportage in this enthralling account of her personal experience as a journalist and a Muslim on assignment in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa."
June 21, 2017
"An enthralling and sometimes shocking blend of reportage and memoir from the centers of jihadi networks in the Middle East and North Africa. . . Mekhennet has a singular perspective on the modern crisis of terrorist violence, intimate and constantly questioning."
June 19, 2017
"...Souad Mekhennet delivers a brilliant narrative of risky first-person interviews and encounters across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, in which she unveils the identity of ISIS executioner "Jihadi John" while telling the history of Islamic radicalism."
May 9, 2017
"A riveting memoir and a literary bombshell that effectively eviscerates every preconception, misconception, and prejudice readers have about the Arab world. . . Compelling, insightful, and shockingly relevant, Mekhennet’s chronicle is a must-read and nothing less than a revelation."