I just finished reading Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman.
You can definitely skip this one.
It was easy reading, but really pretty superficial. Berman basically argues that man has always had a taste for blood and for murder-just not on the same scale as we have seen since about 1800 or so.
He argues that Islam is now the vehicle for totalitarian blood lust and murder, but that it's just the current incarnation of totalitarianism. He is optimistic that it may change, and modernize, citing facts about nations that were thought to be incapable of democratic/liberal living actually becoming democratic and or liberalized.
The reason I don't think we can be as optimistic about Islam is precisely because of the fact that he articulates in the book-that in Islam, there is no separation of "church" and "state". There never can be, and there never will be.
Anyway, it was intellectually not very challenging, but two points were interesting. This book was published in 2003, so it's out of date anyway, however it was interesting to see him talking about how Bernard Lewis had predicted that if there were to be elections in Saudi Arabia and/or Egypt, that Islamists would be "democratically" elected-and that Iran had more of an inclination toward democracy.
Also, there was a passage that he quoted from Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential Sunni Islamist writers. (Berman quotes extensively from Qutb in the book, he has done his homework.)
"In one of the strictures against the Jews in his Koranic commentaries, he observers, "The Koran points to another contemptible characteristic of the Jews: their craven desire to live, no matter at what price and regardless of quality, honor and dignity."
And there you have it, life and a culture of life rules supreme among the Jews. That is what they hate about us. They are a culture of death and I don't see that changing any time in the near future.