Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate by Mike Giglio

On June 10, 2014, I was lying on my bed in a nondescript hotel in Baghdad listening to the BBC when a breaking news report said a group known as the Islamic State had taken Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, defeating the army.

It wasn’t really a shock: since December there had been fighting between ISIS and Iraqi security forces, and over the course of that winter, ISIS fighters had gained control of most of Anbar Province, Iraq’s largest governorate (which includes the important city of Fallujah). What was so startling was how quickly Mosul fell, and how quickly ISIS managed to subjugate a city where many Christians and other minorities had lived alongside Muslims for centuries.