©2006 Vali Nasr (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"Historically incisive, geographically broad-reaching, and brimming with illuminating anecdotes." (Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books)
The audio version is poor, because the narrator butchers all the names, places and concepts with his terrible pronunciation. He needs to prepare himself better and learn how to pronounce these words, so he does not at times even alter the meaning of the words.
The content of the book is superb, but this narration is a disaster.
The explanation of the differences between the sects.
The narrator could learn to pronounce what he is reading.
No. I do not find this question relevant. It made me think and it made me interested in finding out more.
Most likely not. I thought this book was a great primer on the history of Shia/Sunni relations in the Gulf, but it is does not put forth any truly unique or original way of viewing the region that I feel needs revisiting. This book is a great primer, but not an exhaustive source of information. I haven't decided to purchase a print copy of this book to use as a reference as I have for other audio books I've listened to.
Nasr's wide regional scope, and relatively narrow focus (Sunni/Shia relations) allows for a better analysis of regional trends than many other works which tend to focus solely on the history of a single nation or a single war/political event.
Yes, but I love history in general so that's not much of a surprise!
I believe that if I am to do something, I want to do it well, do it great and do it best. Something which I can be proud of in time to come.
I have read many books on Islam, and this is one of the most gripping, captivating works I have experienced! Perhaps it is the writing style, perhaps it is the voice of the narrator, perhaps it is because I have friends who are Shia, perhaps it was the fact that the author himself is Iranian, that made me come back to this book and complete it. I did not expect a scholarly book to be so enriching at the same time. One of the best things which I take away from my reading was a deeper understanding of the severe division between the Sunnis and Shias in light of what is happening in our works today in 2016... and realising that, the Shia world is nearly cutting across the entire Middle East and breaking up the Sunni lands into north (Turkey) and south (Saudi Arabia).
Author and Editor
This book has some invaluable information and perspectives, but it is hampered by the obviousness of its pro-Shia bias. If you keep that idea in mind, it is a great listen and a fascinating reference for anyone interested in the region, in Islam, and in the future of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. Even the author's pro-Shia bias is valuable, as it illuminates a perspective not often heard in Western books on the region. I will definitely be interested in the author's other works.
You'd think a person reading a book about the Middle East would at least attempt to pronounce the names correctly. The reader of this book makes no such attempt. His mis-pronouncements grate on the listener. Better to read this book than listen to it.
I love to learn, grow and evolve as an being!
YES, A++ The author Vali Nasr Does EXCELLENT Job of simplifying such a complex issue. Very thoughtful and really unbiased. More of a historical perspective of how we got to where we are today. Makes a very complicated issue easier to understand. He has a very good “deep” understanding of this topic and looks at many angles and issues. Perfect for someone who wants to better understand the geo-religious- politics of the Middle East.
its the truth
I've read over 100 books and this is the #1
the deep details
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by this thoughtful book.
I'm an atheist so I really favor no party over the other but this book is belligerently biased towards the Shia's perspective and historical point of view with complete dismissal of the Sunni's. By purchasing this book and spending so many hours listening too it , I was hoping for a more accurate and scientific analysis of this issue.
IT LEFT ME DISAPPOINTED
An excellent analysis of the Shia/Sunni conflict throughout history, but one that is glaringly blind to the role the United States and its allies have played in heightening and shaping the conflict since the Iranian Revolution, and particularly since 9/11!
Nasr outlines the contours of the sectarian divisions in the Middle East without any of the self serving biases and ideological distortions I have found so frustrating in 90% of the discussions about the Middle East we hear in the West.
I am definitely moving on to Nasr's more recent book, 'The Dispensable Nation' next.
I really liked this as it was clear and accessible. The pronunciation of the reader was terrible but my knowledge is not sufficient to make it really annoying. The emphasis on US interests in the book was a reflection of the writers role in the US. That part is not to my taste but still it was a good book.
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