Crisis of Islam ranges widely through 13 centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the 20th century leading up to the bitter and violent confrontations of today. The Second World War, the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States have all shaped Muslim perceptions in important ways.
While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is new. So too is the cult of the suicide bomber. Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award-winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Osama bin Ladin represents and why his murderous message resonates so widely in the Islamic world.
©2003 Bernard Lewis; (P)2003 Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Remarkably succinct...offers a long view in the midst of so much short-termism and confusing punditry. Lewis has done us all - Muslim and non-Muslim alike - a remarkable service." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A timely and provocative contribution to the current raging debate about the tensions between the West and the Islamic world." (Business Week)
This was a very good introductory, yet detailed book regarding Islam. However, why did Bernard Lewis read? His voice crackles and several times it I could not decipher what he was saying. This book should be re-read by someone with a better voice.
Once you listen to this, you will have some understanding of why it is easy to drum up hate for westerners and to some degree America. I found this book very enlightening even though parts of it shine light on some great national shame.
It is easy to follow, well thought out, and has enough date information to keep the timeline together without putting you to sleep.
The story of Islam through the centuries and how it relates to present day religious fanatism. Impartial view by a scholar leads to understanding of present day terror.
While I have the desire to know more about the how and why of radical Islam, I cannot devote the time that real study would require. This book provides an excellent overview. The listener won't be an expert on the subject after hearing this book, but will be much more enlightened for the experience. While I agree that the author is not always the best person to read his or her work (e.g., Bill Bryson) I found Lewis's reading of his book to be genuine and enjoyable (despite a case of laryngitis early on). A must read.
Though by necessity the author jumps around a bit, the book provides great insight into what is the history of Islam and what is currently driving the terroists. An excellent history lesson plus many insightfull observations!
Facsinating book. The author gives insight into Islam past and present, offers insight into what could become of present day events. His historical presentation of Muslim history explains a great deal of current day events.
Well narrated, well researched and very informative. I listened to it twice and learned much from it. This book helped me see the world and current events from a different point of view and significantly improved my ability to interpret and understand the political and diplomatic forces at play in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
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