Navy Wife, Mom of 2
This should be required reading for anyone who would call all Muslim territories. If you fear what you don't understand... then take the time and learn about it
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
This book goes a long way to explain the current conflicts - as the author calls them the "intersecting narratives" between the western and Muslim world. It covers a great deal of history of the Muslim world, beginning before Mohammed and bringing us up to its publication date (2009). Mr. Ansary tells it "warts and all" and covers a great deal of time and space as he does so. There aren't many non-fiction books that I wish had been longer, but I wish he had spent more time in India and North Africa - maybe a follow-up? Being Western-centric it was hard not to draw parallels with the development and spread of Christianity, which made the "disruption" stand out very clearly as the East (or the "Middle" as he calls it) and the West diverged. And, oh yes, I have never encountered a history that was written and read in such a very conversational tone. I listened to most of it in the car and it was like he was right there with me - a very welcome guest.
This comprehensive history of Islam and its encounters through the centuries with the West is written by an author with an in-depth understanding of the underlying factors and diverse perspectives on key defining historical events. This is essential reading for those seeking to penetrate the daily headlines to understand the complex history and roles of multiple players that have led to today's conflicts within the Islamic world and between the Islamic world and the West. An excellent, thoughtful and enlightening read!
Married to a Presbyterian Pastor - 4 grand children - just returned from a mission trip to Russia - Career - Interior designer
An honest viewpoint telling the other side of the story. Very refreshing! Of course, the thought is, "Why can't we discuss the differences calmly?".
I really like hearing the author read his own book. Tamim Ansary is very easy to listen to and he tells a good story. We are listening to all of his books and feel fortunate to have found him. I would recommend Tamim Ansary's books to anyone interested in Middle Eastern Islam and how it affects us Americans.
All these rave reviews were written by people who haven't read the Quran, Sunnah or Old Testament. I'm also convinced none of them have actually studied Islamic history.
Read it if you must, but please, PLEASE don't walk away thinking you now know Islam or Islamic history.
"Extensive Islamic culture", one will obtain a great deal of history from this book. Definition of extensive, extended(adj) large in spatial extent or range or scope or quantity.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid she was a strong, capable, and influential woman. Her influence, and life counters the modern Islamic idea of woman as second class. The ideal of woman as a possession preceded Muhammad and reemerged after his death.
Prophet Muhammad's life, and view point on women. Many of the women in his life were strong willed and quite capable. He views woman as equal to man, and that was part of his teachings.
No, learning requires rest in between, but I always enjoyed returning to listen to more of the audio book
The history is theme based, and is lively and easy to follow, and well worth a second listen.
I would recommend this as a must read for everyone, regardless of what your preconceived notions are about Islam.
I had to buy the print book also, however, because the reader's Arabic accent is SO bad!! When he said Ollah and Oisha .. I decided, I had to have the print version.
This book should be a "must-read" for all Americans, who are never taught most of these things, and for anyone else that seeks a greater understanding of today's Middle East relations.
This book provides a fascinating look at the world through Muslim eyes as it traces the history of Islam since Mohammad. I cannot recommend it enough. The reading is equally well done and great effort is taken to pronunciate the Arabic names.
Books are the file which remove the edges we all accumulate from day to day collisions with life. Lt. Gen. Marcus T. Leaf
With the Western world seemingly overwhelmed trying to make sense of the violence plaguing the middle east I decided that a look at the History of Islam would help me to make an educated decision about where I stood on the issue. This book looked decent so I decided to give it a shot especially given the fact that it was written by a native of that society....Man was I not prepared for what I was getting into. Refreshingly honest and clarifying, this book puts you in the shoes of a Muslim trying to make sense of their historical, social, and theological worldview. A brilliant feat made even better by the author/narrator's clear and yet authentic pronunciation and grammar. Every member of any policy making group should be required to read this book.