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Publisher's Summary

Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the frustrations and resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and tells us what the Islamic doctrine of jihad has meant at different times in history. And he takes us, as only he can, through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahabi proselytizing and Saudi oil money on the rest of the Islamic world.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Helped me understand current Middle East issues

I didn't care for the content or reader as much as I would like, to be honest. But I think I understand a bit more about the dynamic of some of the things of the Muslim world. I hope I do anyway. I had listened to a book on Islam, which I found rather good, but it didn't really give the history of why the west and America in particular was so hated there. This book give a lot of why's in recent and not so recent history. But, it was difficult to folllow in audio, or at least I found it so.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unapologetic, evenhanded

The author explains the historical basis for the current crisis of Islam in an unblinking, unapologetic and evenhanded manner. Although he points out the West's errors and sins in the Muslim world, he does not hesitate to place the blame for the latest terrorist acts where it belongs. The sound of the author's voice, his diction and pronunciation, added immensely to my enjoyment and appreciation of his work.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A

This topic could not have been better covered. The Proffessor does a very good job narrating what could be dry material. I listened to the entire book in one sitting. AT LAST!! Answers to my un-answered questions!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great insight into the Islamic history and mindset

I enjoyed every minute of listening to this book. "The Chrisis of Islam" provides a fairly short but amazingly insightful overview of the history of issues that result in the situation we find ourselves in today.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andreas
  • Washington , DC, USA
  • 06-27-03

Why did he have to read it?

A very timely book, should be required reading for all interested in why Islam and the West are at loggerheads. But why did Bernhard Lewis have to read it. And how can a writer, even if he is a university professor, be so absolutely uninspired while reading his own work. Sad but true, I physically could not finish the book, because his deliver made me fall asleep while I was walking the dog. That's just plain dangerous.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Concise and Utterly Worthwhile

Bernard Lewis's voice is wonderful.

The book was also wonderful. It serves as an incredibly concise, knowledgeable, and sober look into the contreversial aspects of Islam. It illuminates hundreds of years of significant history and ties it to the Islamic world as it stands today. It is perceptive and enlightening when most commentators on the matter are vitriolic or obscurant.

Overall, Lewis strikes the stoic, removed reporter's tone and approach to defining and describing important aspects of Islam. There is hardly a chance, should you have even had enough interest to visit this book's page, that you will be disappointed after listening.

NG

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  • Story

A must read for everyone.

it's hard for us "Westerners" to understand the terrorists actions of late and how Islam could condone such acts. we want to believe that these extremists have twisted the teaching of Islam but are bombarded by the talking heads. this is an excellent synopsis of the history of Islam and the reason behind the growth of the extremists movements. Lewis takes a nutral approach as he walks us through the changes in the Arab world over the last few centuries.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Erudite, Timely, and Insiteful

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly informative. A must read.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

While written in 2004, "The Crisis in Islam" was sadly prescient and remains chillingly relevant today (2017).

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Everything.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, lip smacking narrator

Loved the book, but the continual lip smacking was very distracting. Should've been produced better. Less compression and a high frequency filter would've done wonders.

  • Overall
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  • Story

At times dry; unparalleled information

This is a remarkable book for insight and information on the Islamic view of the West, and includes a lot of very engaging information, but it is a bit dry in places; strongly recommended for anyone with enough interest in the Middle East of or Muslims to weather the dry parts.