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)
This book is a must read for anyone attempting to understand the central news of our era - the ongoing clash between the Christian and Muslim worlds. This is not a history of the religion of Islam. It's a history of the people, events and society of the Islamic culture that presents a vivid road map of how the world has gotten to the place it is in today. This edition is beautifully narrated by the author himself, told to the reader as if you are sitting in the room with him and he's telling you a story. The effect is to pull you in completely as you listen to the founding of Islam with the life of Muhammad, the bloodbath that is the succession story of the generations that followed and splintered into various factions, the clashes with the Christian West and Mongol East, the impact of Western industrialization and colonialism on the Islamic world and the explanation of how we got to Sept. 11, 2001, the wars in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and the standoff with Iran. The book answers the question of why we are at the place we are in the ongoing clash of the Western world and Islam.
Although I have not had the opportunity to check all the facts in this book (and never will for that matter), anything I researched checked out.
Because of the subject matter it is "pro" Islam, and "pro" Mohammed.But not overbearing at all.
Definitely gives new meaning to "There but for fortune go you and I."
Enjoyed the style MOST of the time. Occasionally, especially toward the end, the amount of detail was overwhelming. Narration was good.
Would definitely recommend this book to anyone that wants to see the world through anothers eyes. And maybe, most importantly, to those who don't.
Speaking as someone who'd like to think of himself as well-educated, I downloaded this book hoping it could fill a few gaps in my knowledge of world history.
Little did I know how little I knew.
Destiny Disrupted is a fantastic book -- it really gives the listener a different perspective on the last two thousand years of human history. No, it's not encyclopedic -- after all, it's subtitled "A History of the World through Islamic Eyes," so it's as light w.r.t. goings-on in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as most history classes in the U.S. tend to be. Still, it's a helpful counterpoint to the usual perspective you'll hear in the "news" media, where everyone on the planet is assumed to be just the same and hungering for the very same things.
If I had to criticize anything about the book, it'd be that Ansary skips over two less-flattering episodes in Islamic history -- namely, Arab involvement in the African slave trade, and Arab collaboration with the Nazis.
Still, all-in-all this is a well-written book, well-read by the author himself. The listening experience is fantastic, you'll feel like you're sitting side-by-side with the author as he patiently explains this all to you. Best of all -- you won't see the world the same way after you're done.
Tamim Ansary does an excellent job of presenting the reader with a view from the Islamic side of history. Not only is his reading of the book done in a pleasant, almost casual manner, his effort to tie important events to the western view of history is critical this story's success. I would recommend this book to any history buff, anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the muslim world, and especially teachers wise enough to know there are more views of the world than the one most of us were taught in school.
The author weaves a good story, which is what the book is all about. Namely, two conflicting cultural and religious narratives which inform and shape many aspects of life. Ansary does a good job depicting a whole tapestry, woven from both religion and culture and the ways in which they interact. He endeavors to retain an almost anthropological degree of objectivity. He provides explanations without necessarily approving of them.
I would recommend this to ANYONE seeking to understand this culture!
This is a remarkably good book for anyone interested in learning about history of Islam. Mr Ansary presents historical facts in a style which is easy to follow. He maintains the neutrality of an independent observer of the story without inserting his own biases into it. I was born and raised as a Muslim. I thought I knew history of Islam but this book has brought a wealth of information which is all new for me. I have learned a great deal about decades of Islamic history from this book.
I am going to listen to it and read this book again. It cuts through a lot of stereotypes and misinformation about Islam and Muslims.
I will highly recommend this book to anyone but specially to Muslims who want to learn about history of their religion.
Listening to Mr Ansary narrate this book was like having a knowlegable and learned friend explain the historical facts in a well informed and calm manner. I congratulate Mr Ansary for compiling such a wonderful source for increasing our understanding of history of Islam.
Tamim Ansary placed me well in the mind-frame of today's Muslim, looking back at nearly 1400 years of proud cultural heritage, and wondering what happened to such a promising place in global development. From the onset, this book challenged my preconceptions of a culture struggling against modernity and an ideology that western civilization is the goal toward which "developing" nations should strive. It defined for me what is Islam and what it means to have one's ancestry in this religion, ideology, and culture.
I bought this with a bit of trepidation. I've read quite a bit in this area and almost all books seem to fall into one of two categories--either a shameless apologia of all things Islam, ala Edward Said, or a dry recitation of facts without interesting intepretation or comment, apparently in fear that any sort of serious criticism may lead to a fatwah--ala Karen Armstrong. I was pleasantly surprised to find in this book a knowledgable author who presents as balanced an approach as one is likely to find on this subject, presented in a most appealing style with relevant commentary and even serious criticism at a number of points. My only disappointment was in the author's approach to current issues. His clear bias toward almost a total Islamic view of curent events was a bit off-putting. For example, he makes no mention of the fact that Arab nations shamelessly and intentionally refused to allow Palestinian Arabs to assimilate into their countries after Israel was established for the express purpose of keeping alive the Israeli/Palestinian discord. He makes no reference to America's efforts to aid Muslims in the Balkans, Kuwait or ,yes, even Iraq and Afghanistan. He fails to say anything about the murder of Theo Van Gogh, the death sentence fatwahs placed on Salmon Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali or the shameless surrender of fundamental rights of free speech and free press (and the underlying reasons therefore) surrounding the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Even after the Munich Olympics (which he never refers to), the Iranian takeover of the U.S. embassy, the Lockerbie bombing and 9/11, he seems to imply that virtually everything the U.S. and the West in general has done for the last 50 or so years is totally indefensible and solely responsible for the current antagonisms between the two sides and that Muslims are just defenseless victims. (I probably overstated that last point.) Nonetheless, if you have an interest in this subject, it is not likely you will find a more informed, better written or more balanced and nuanced work on the subject than is here presented, given the current state of world affairs.
I found Tamim Ansary approach to helping one understand the Islamic early ideal of moral living very interesting. It makes it clear to understand why western culture know so little of Islamic history. Looking forward to part II.
I procrastinated listening to this for a while, but devoured it in less than a week once I started. Ansary reads his work well, the pace is fast enough to prevent sections from dragging, but he manages to fit in enough detail to tell the story. What makes this so interesting is that he is not trying to give a comprehensive, detailed account of history, and in some places, he's not even worried about accuracy, so much as he is trying to tell you the history and the stories that Muslims tell themselves. Well worth the listen.
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