Jonathan Lyons
AUTHOR

Jonathan Lyons

I have spent much of my professional and personal life exploring the shifting boundaries between East and West, first on both sides of the Cold War divide and, more recently, on the cusp between the Islamic and Western worlds. Over time, I have come to see the relationships between these seemingly polar fields as a problem not of geography or politics (or even geo-politics) but of thought, ideas, and knowledge - that is, as essential problems of epistemology.

This realization prompted me to leave behind more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent and editor, much of it in the Islamic world, and to complete a doctorate in sociology at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Already, I had begun my journey from agency journalist to author with publication in 2003 of Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in 21st-Century Iran, co-authored with Geneive Abdo. My second book, The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization (2009), presents a narrative account of the West's extensive borrowing from the medieval Arab and Muslim world.

Columbia University Press has just published my newest book, Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism. This social history of ideas, based on my recent doctoral dissertation, attempts to explain the fact that Western images of Islam have remained to this day almost unchanged since they were first crafted from wartime propaganda at the time of the First Crusade, one thousand years ago.

Lately, I have shifted gears a bit to explore early American intellectual history as a way of uncovering the roots of today's technological nation. America, and by extension much of the modern world, has lost touch with Classical notions of wisdom and mystery. This new book traces the trajectory of our national consciousness.

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Best Sellers

    • The House of Wisdom

    • How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization
    • By: Jonathan Lyons
    • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
    • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 82
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 50
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 49

    Here is the story of how medieval Arab scholars made dazzling advances in science and philosophy, and of the Europeans who brought this knowledge back to the West....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Missing history

    • By Robert on 11-26-11

    Regular price: $24.95

    • The Society for Useful Knowledge

    • How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America
    • By: Jonathan Lyons
    • Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
    • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      3 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7

    With the "first Drudgery" of settling the American colonies now well and truly past, Benjamin Franklin announced in 1743, it was high time that the colonists set about improving the lot of humankind through collaborative inquiry....

    Regular price: $24.95

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