Starting with his childhood in Southend London, he details his struggles with bullying and alienation which gradually take on a racist and violent nature. Finding in hip hop culture first solace, then connection with others, and finally prestige and power, he is also influenced by it to see world problems in terms of race struggles. When the police and justice system of London repeatedly fail him, this reinforces his worldview and drives him to form a gang for protection. When some of his friends begin to identify more in terms of religion (in this case Islam) than race, using the threat of fearless, self-sacrificing jihad to effectively scare off racist thugs, he becomes interested in acquiring this power for himself.
Then ripe for recruitment, the local HT leader converts him in the same way that all political operatives do: by cherry-picking events from history to form a false narrative. In this case, the worldview of Islamists is to see most world conflicts as being of Muslims versus non-Muslims. Their solution to protect Muslims is to unify every Muslim-majority country into a single entity called a caliphate with a uniform legal code based on Shariah. The various dictators of the middle-east, rather than seen as being examples of Islamist extremism as many in the West see them, are seen instead as mostly Western puppets that co-opt Islam for personal gain. Distinct from Jihadism, Islamism is a (mostly) non-violent political philosophy with only a thin veneer of religion.
After working hard for the organization for several years in multiple countries, Maajid was jailed in Egypt, where the organization had been banned. After seeing first-hand the corruption that absolute power brings, and by this time having noticed even inside HT the political backstabbing games, he began to doubt that even a perfect caliphate based on perfect Shariah Law would be any better without also having basic protections for human rights and limited power of the government. Having plenty of time in prison, he read history and began to question the oversimplistic Islamist narrative, including that Shariah was ever meant to be involuntarily applied by a unitary nation-state. For the first time, the religion of Islam and the politics of Islamism separated into distinct entities in his mind. After returning home, he eventually left HT and founded a think-tank to fight both Islamism and anti-Muslim sentiment in the West by educating people about historical narratives.
I highly recommend the book for anyone looking to understand what drives people into extremist politics as well as for those looking for an engaging and compelling story.
For my observations of historical narratives in US politics, this page is a good start: Historical Narratives