Cover: From Byron to bin Laden: A History of Foreign War Volunteers, from Harvard University PressCover: From Byron to bin Laden in HARDCOVER

From Byron to bin Laden

A History of Foreign War Volunteers

A highly topical book as we contemplate the return of Islamist fighters following Islamic State’s defeat in Syria. It is also meticulously researched. Nir Arielli has drawn on a wealth of source material to look at the phenomenon of ‘foreign fighters’ from every conceivable angle… Superb.—Tim Willasey-Wilsey, International Affairs

This is a fascinating book, at times a very literary survey of the history of foreigners in military service, and their motivation.—Allan Mallison, The Spectator

Well-crafted, timely, comprehensive, and spiced with individual case studies that lend color to the arguments made, Arielli’s From Byron to bin Laden is a work of strong contemporary resonance. It distills complex debates about ideological commitment, ethnic attachment, and war volunteering as a political act into a text both specialist scholars and general readers will enjoy.—Martin Thomas, University of Exeter

Nir Arielli offers a powerfully argued, deeply researched, and elegantly crafted account of the history of foreign war volunteers. Masterfully interweaving military and global history, he provides a fascinating panorama spanning five centuries, from the movement of foreign fighters on the battlefields of the early modern world to today’s international streams of Islamist militants. This book will be invaluable not only to students and scholars of modern history, but for everyone interested in the changing nature of war in the contemporary world.—David Motadel, London School of Economics and Political Science

From Byron to bin Laden offers an innovative and much needed historian’s contribution to contemporary debates, covering the long history of foreign war volunteers with panache and intelligence. Arielli’s pen is like an impressionist’s brush, evocative and suggestive; yet his research is rigorous and his methodology sound. The book will be a refreshing read for specialists and non-specialists alike.—Davide Rodogno, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

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