Islam

A Short History [Modern Library Chronicles]
Narrated by: Richard M. Davidson
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: History, Middle East
3.8 out of 5 stars (271 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad's flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world as Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision course.
©2002 Karen Armstrong

What listeners say about Islam

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read the Book, pass on the audible!

The book is an excellent book. I have read several of Karen Armstrong's books and find them important in today's happenings. However the narrator is dreadful! He is dull and annoying! I agree with others, he has mangled pronounciation of names and terms and it is very difficult to listen to the book, knowing the correct pronounciation. It took me awhile to figure out he was talking about the Shia's when he was saying, "Shure-RIa" and "Shure-ease" Read the book and ask the publisher to get another reader to do the book justice.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Typical Armstrong - Always Good

One of the pre-eminent religious historians, perhaps the only writer who deserves that title, Armstrong provides a brief and concise history of Islam. Regretably Audio.com does not yet have her "Jerusalem" or other works (other than the excellent brief histor of The Buddha which is available). The fact that this is a "short history" in no way suggests it is historically incorrect or incomplete. Considering all of the trash about Islam published after 9-11 this book tells a simple and history of Islam which is *historically* correct. In many ways she walks in the footsteps of Barbara Tuchman, an historian to was concerned with the facts and in telling them in an interesting way. An excellent audio book and well narrated. And no I'm not a Moslem. I admire good and accurate history without all the political prejudice which seems popular with the current "history" being written. If fables and political viewpoints are your idea of "history" look elsewhere.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

terrible narrator for this excellent book

an excellent book~~all Karen Armstrong books are important vital reads in todays world. however the narrator is worse than bad. If it was just his dull reading, well alright, listen if you must, but his mangled prononciation of names and terms grates.
read the book. Better, ask the publisher to get another reader

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Armstrong's Islam

Armstrong's picture of Islam is illuminating and insightful. Her discussion of fundamentalism in general is valuable.
Unfortunately, the recording suffers from a reader who didn't bother to learn to pronounce either the Arabic or the religious vocabulary. Apart from that annoyance, I would give the book five stars.

S. Treloar, M Div

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done!

This review is of the paper edition.

A well written history that will explain plenty to someone who wants to know more about Islamic history. This is not an in-depth study but an easy read. I only wish more Muslims would read it, I think the book would be an eye opener for them too.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good overview but a lot of history

I had previously read the Qur'an and I wanted a book to better understand Islam. What I learned was that the history of Islam is really complicated. There were more dates and places than I could keep track of, such that for much of it I felt I was listening to a textbook. Still, it provides a good overview in a relatively short amount of time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Pronunciation Problems Ruin a Well-Written Book

This audiobook's merits are unfortunately lost in the absolutely horrible pronunciation of the many Arabic words and names that necessarily occur throughout the text. The narrator seems to be completely unfamiliar with the language, at one point even badly mispronouncing the name "Hussein" (which by now even the most linguistically challenged of us knows)!
This audiobook selection badly needs rerecording by either an Arabic speaker, or at least someone who has spent a few minutes going over the names with an Arabic speaker.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent reading

loved it. this book offers a great insight into current world chaos. highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great history, tying it to current day lives

wonderfully covered history from the perspective of both Muslims and non Muslims. lessons derived and applied to the lives of today. some are companies about the pronunciation but I thought they were clear and totally fine. great listen. very insightful.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Text book delivery until the last couple of chapters

Great if you really want to know the exchange of leadership through Muslim history since Muhammed but hard to follow with the names of the people. Very text book in the delivery but great insight into the Islamic world.