This book reveals the parallel "other" narrative of world history to help us make sense of today's world conflicts. Ansary traces the history of the Muslim world from pre-Mohammedan days through 9/11, introducing people, events, empires, legends, and religious disputes, both in terms of what happened and how it was understood and interpreted.
©2009 Tamim Ansary; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Informative and thoroughly engaging....A must read." (Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner)
I was overall pleased I listened to this book. I was surprised at my reactions to some of the statements, which I haven't followed up with research on my own. At one point the author referred to a character who I have met in another book, and it was stunning how different the two presentations of the man was in each book. [I can't remember the name, but it was the man who founded the Muslim Brotherhood I think.]
At times the book seemed to be more of a history of Islam than "the world", but seeing it "through Islamic eyes" was valuable (recognizing that it is through the eyes of one Islamic person, who does make an effort to present the different viewpoints of the Islamic world).
Some of the pronunciations were really different than what I expected, and this was disconcerting, but I don't know which of us is "right".
Can't recommend this book enough to any westerner trying to gain broader perspective on the Middle East and Islam. In crystal-clear style and plain but powerful language, Ansary unravels the Islamic narrative from the birth of Islam through the World Trade Center attacks of 2001. And what a story it is! Throughout, he examines events through not just the political lens but also the intellectual, religious, and social, and manages not to over-simplify what you come to learn are extremely complex issues. I'm so glad he chose to narrate the book himself, it's hard for me to imagine it being read by anyone else.
My one piece of advice to other geographically ignorant listeners like me is to get yourself a map. Google maps works great for the later sections of the book. There are historical maps of the region available online for the earlier sections.
This had a lot of good information, some of it interesting. It was a bit long for me. I found the beginning and ending the most interesting. I admit history is not usually my favorite.
I was very glad to read history from the level-headed Arabic perspective of Tamin Ansary. Though i read a lot of history, I was grateful to have his perspective and I look forward to reading more by him.
Since the author's nuances and excellent speaking voice contributed well to my enjoyment of the book, I hardly would expect the non-verbal edition to be any better.
Off hand, I don't know of any other work which does as well in explaining the historical context of such a broad topic.
No, but I will certainly consider any others he has written, and especially if he also presents them as the reader.
Unless one has an extreme cartographic knowledge of a 1400 year period of history, I would not expect anyone to appreciate the historical context of this book in one sitting without also referring to the maps of the referenced part of the world for the periods discussed.
I am thankful that Mr. Ansary took his time to write (and present) his book. My knowledge of this topic is more comprehensive than previous to my reading, and I am grateful to have Mr. Ansary's perspective on this period of history, and from his unique perspective.
As a reader I didn't feel engaged by the story.
Dry recitation of one battle after another. There was minimal development or depth to the characters.
The author was excited & involved in his reading but I couldn't wait to finish it, hoping it would become more interesting. I've read many historical books and I usually enjoy them more than fiction. Not this one, though.
Mr. Ansary reads beautifully and from the beginning the story of this history captured my attention. Thank you for a well-written thought-provoking book!
I purchased this title thinking that it would be a definitive work of historical Islam. I often found myself thinking that there was a high degree of justification for the early excesses of Islam's pioneers.
In the end I found myself wanting more current historical perspective. What was there felt highly biased.
The narrator (author) tended toward monotone delivery. There was occasional bursts of animated delivery, far too infrequent for my ear.
it really needed to be a bit longer and in depth. I wish he would have gone further lengths in the details of Islamic history in contrast to european.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Born and raised in Afghanistan, until 16 years of age (when the author moves to America), Tamim Ansary is well suited to offer a perspective on Middle Eastern’ history through Islamic eyes. Ansary colloquially explains the beginning and current importance of Muslim religion to the Middle East; a religion of 25% of the world population. It is a colloquial perspective because "Destiny Disrupted" comes from Ansary’s education and life experience; i.e. personal experience not unduly clouded by the illusions of western history. (This is not to denigrate western history–all history has the bias of the story-teller and facts selected.)
Ansary suggests the disconnect between the West's democratic institutions and "middle earth's" religion-based governments is that the first idealizes freedom posited by Ayn Rand while "middle earth" demonizes freedom that engenders greed and sexual license of an unfettered Ayn Rand philosophy. Both hemispheres desire freedom but talk past each other with respective myopic views of freedom.
This is only a small part of Ansary’s book; i.e. he addresses many more subjects, including Israel, the Armenian holocaust, examples of Western’ bribery and misdirection in “middle earth”, and the issues of equality and modernization in the Middle East. It is too much to absorb in one listen but it is an excellent exposure to the Middle East through Islamic eyes.
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