Understanding the meteoric rise of ISIS requires not only a nuanced understanding of Islam, but also a firm grasp of the complex history and culture of the Middle East. But ain’t nobody got time for that. Luckily, Vox has produced this video that gives you a nice CliffsNotes overview of the group and its bloody history.
As with any quick summary, it’s not perfect. I’m sure a lot of people might take issue with its claim that Iraq was looking stable when the U.S. withdrew in 2011 (specifically, Leon Panetta). But it provides just enough information to give you the confidence you’ll need for the inevitable drunken political argument you’ll have with your crazy uncle this Christmas Eve.