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tianxiang

Washington, DC | Listener Since 2005

82
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 176 ratings
  • 338 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Arthur Goldschmidt, Lawrence Davidson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (211)

    The ninth edition of this widely acclaimed text has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment.

    Magnus Odeen says: "An honest, detailed and well written history"
    "Worse than a waste of time"
    Overall

    This book is one of the least informative texts I have ever read on Middle East history. It is full of unsupported (and unsupportable) opinions/assertions instead of stating the facts. It ignores so many events in Islamic history that would inevitably reveal Islam and its rulers in a negative way that it must certainly be intentional. The authors fail to mention many of the troubling actions of Muhammed (assassinations, political intolerance, banditry, etc), avoids discussing the intolerance of Muslim rulers such as Hakim who destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, avoids discussing the mass slaughter of Hindus in India, and the list goes on. It also provides an unnecessarily biased account of European imperialism which blames Europe for everything yet portrays Arabic and Turkish imperialism, which was arguably far more intolerant and harmful to the occupied lands than Arabs and others under Europeans, as something wonderful. This is a totally biased whitewash of Middle East history and was worse than a waste of time as it is actually counterproductive to any effort at understanding the history of the region. If my children brought this book home from school as a textbook, I would have to speak to the school to have the text changed or remove my child from the class. If you want a book about the Middle East that, although biased in favor of Islam and the Arabs, actually provides sufficient information about the region that you can glean some understanding, get History of the Arab Peoples by Hourani or any of the books by Bernard Lewis who is far more objective and honest both about the history of Islam, Arabs and especially the Turks.

    70 of 109 people found this review helpful
  • Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table - Our Journey Through the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker, Carl Medearis
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    Is it really possible to love one's enemies? That's the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel-and-glass high-rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet-pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world's three major religions: Jerusalem.

    Roy says: "Love Your Enemies?"
    "No point"
    Overall

    Didn't get any information about the region. All they provided was snippets of interviews with terrorists and their sympathizers where they allowed them to say whatever they wanted and portray themselves as hunky dory regular folks without any analysis to see if they were just saying what they thought people in the West would want to hear. Wish I could get the time I spent listening to this book back.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Dore Gold
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (16)

    Using previously unpublished documents, Gold, the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, exposes how the deeply ingrained hatred that has provoked the new terrorism has its roots in Saudi Arabia's dominant religious creed, a radical Islamic offshoot known as Wahhabism.

    abelisar says: "Clear and Concise"
    "Great critique but a bit PC"
    Overall

    Gold does a great job of detailing all of the pernicious activities of the Wahhabi movement, especially regarding how the education system with the Kingdom has been hijacked and the Saudis have built up support for their movement by building mosques and schools around the world. Gold also does a great job of bringing out the true message of the Wahhabis which is one of extreme intolerance towards those who disagree with them. However, Gold continues the PC line that Islam is not the problem and it is just a small group of extremists. In fact, the most powerful factor in the Wahhabi cause is its total adherence to the Quran and Islamic juridsprudence. Granted, it is just one interpretation of the Muslim holy book but it remains a fundamentally sound interpretation and appears to be that most in accord with Islam throughout its history, particularly in its first few centuries. But, all in all an eye-opener we should all read to be aware of the Saudi threat.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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