Bernard Lewis is recognized around the globe as one of the leading authorities on Islam. Hailed as "the world's foremost Islamic scholar" (Wall Street Journal), as "a towering figure among experts on the culture and religion of the Muslim world" (Baltimore Sun), and as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies" (New York Times), Lewis is nothing less than a national treasure, a trusted voice that politicians, journalists, historians, and the general public have all turned to for insight into the Middle East. Now, this revered authority has brought together writings and lectures that he has written over four decades, featuring his reflections on Middle Eastern history and foreign affairs, the Iranian Revolution, the state of Israel, the writing of history, and much more. The essays cover such urgent and compelling topics as "What Saddam Wrought", "Deconstructing Osama and His Evil Appeal", "The Middle East, Westernized Despite Itself", "The Enemies of God", and "Can Islam Be Secularized? "
©2004 Oxford University Press, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the ME affairs.
The author is almost 100 years old and first visited ME prior to WWII. Accordingly, the material accumulated in this book spans an unbroken body of work of a duration one seldom sees.
The casual reader, however, needs to know many of the topic chapters (and there are a lot of them) might be a bit tedious if you do not know much about the subject. However, if you are the kind of person who knows the phrase Four Rightly Guided Caliphs you may be up to speed well enough. The matterial is not very difficult, however, and the reader kept my attention.
I plan to listen to much of it again and might even buy the Kindle version. This is because not all of the readings include the original date and they span well over 50 years. A tablet PC would be good as well in order to look up some maps, photos of places and the like.
Finally, I recommend YouTube University! I made that term up, but Richard Bulliet has some of the best lectures on the subject I have heard. These are full length lectures, often more then an hour long. I listened to them prior to listening to this book and it was fun to have a heads up!
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