Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes Paperback – April 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Reading [Tom] Friedman, I was motivated to learn more about the Muslim view of world history. I found a remarkable guide in Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted.”
Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
“Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read.”
Dave Eggers, TheRumpus.net
“I’m in the middle of Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes, and it’s incredibly illuminating. Ansary pretty much covers the entire history of Islam in an incredibly readable and lucid way. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone I know. Especially when people are looking for a comprehensive-but-approachable way to look at world history through the lens of Islam, there’s no better book.”
San Francisco Chronicle
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
David Frum’s FrumForum, August 16, 2010
“An amusing and anecdotal survey of Islamic history”
San Francisco Chronicle, January 4, 2011
“[The fire] was roaring nicely, and I was seated not far from it, reading "Destiny Disrupted" by Tamim Ansary, which is the perfect book for someone who knows hardly anything about the history of the Muslim world and feels that, really, what with things the way they are, a little more attention to detail would be useful. It's one of those "fascinating new fact every paragraph" books. Would you like to know how the Shiite-Sunni schism happened? It's all here. Rumi the poet? He's here. Empires, sultanates, wars, atrocities, cities of great beauty now lost forever, the whole deal. Even the chapters on theology are enjoyable, and I'm not big on the minutiae of belief systems.”
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
He has the right background to speak about, and to, both cultures: Born in Afghanistan to an Afghan father and an American mother, Ansary emigrated to the U.S. in his teens and went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He has lived in the U.S. ever since, with trips back to Afghanistan and the Middle East.
I was fascinated by the book's discussion of Islam's early years in the 7th century, the discussion of Islamic reform movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the compassionate overview of the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews in the Middle East.
For that long-running disaster Ansary assigns blame and plenty to everyone involved, and I mean everyone -- including the British, the Americans, the Russians, and the Saudis. And that's just for starters.
His evaluation of the Six Day War in 1967 is eye-opening; he argues that it was a military triumph in the short term but did more harm than good to Israel in the long term.
I was hungry for a longer discussion of the meaning and impact of 9/11 from an Islamic perspective, and I hope the author will do that in some other publication. That aside, this is the perfect book for readers wanting a readable, friendly, big-picture story of how Islam came to be and the religious and cultural frameworks that shape its view of world history.
We desperately need more informed, compassionate, and wise writing of this nature from Mr. Ansary, who has lived in both worlds and can help each understand the other.
The European outline of history has always been the westward succession of leadership, from Greece to Rome to northern Europe to America, a viewpoint of manifest destiny that has justified much imperialism and jingoism. An Islamic history, Ansary says, would be an expansion from a center, rather like ripples spreading from the event of the Hijra in 622 AD, an expansion that should have been destined to encompass the whole world. For the first thousand years of this history, it was perfectly plausible for the most educated classes of Islamic societies to maintain such a viewpoint, Ansary maintains. But then that 'destiny' was disrupted by the unforeseen economic and technological revolutions of the rude barbarians of Europe. Such a perception of history, as a calamitous disruption of the proper order of things, underlies the resentment and hostility of Muslims throughout the Middle World toward the West.
Ansary writes very simply. His prose would pass muster for a high school textbook. But his simplicity is eloquent and lucid.Read more ›
I also appreciate the honest way that Tamim Ansary approaches Islam's history of offensive violence and jihad, going back all the way to at least the four Rashidun Rightly Guided Caliphs.
That being said, this book is riddled with gross omissions, Islamic chauvinism, a glaring contradiction, and some factual errors.
1) Nowhere does Tamim Ansary discuss how Muslims treated pagans, Manichaeans, Buddhists or Jains. Why? Because Muslims weren't nearly as kind to them as they were to Christians and Jews. Sometimes Muslims treated Hindus & Zoroastrians as well as Christians & Jews, and of course Ansary highlights those some times while not mentioning the other times Muslims did not treat Hindus or Zoroastrians as relatively kindly as they treated Peoples of the Book.
2) Tamim Ansary goes to great lengths, in a book about "Islamic" history, to mention Christians enslaving Africans, but neglects to discuss the millions of Africans who were enslaved in Mesopotamia in the 8-10th centuries and who rebelled under the Zanj Rebellions. He also doesn't mention Muslims roles in facilitating sales of slaves to Christians, nor in how Muslim inspired Christians to start the colonial slave trade in the first place.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
obvious bias and clear omissions meant to disrupt and propagandize the west's understanding of islam to prevent the people from really knowing islam.
good story bro.
To be blunt, there are better books out there but inexplicably this one has become popular. The author intersperses sometimes up to half a page of his personal views or rants... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Aadil Ilyas
I bought a couple of these for gifts to friends who like to use their brains. It was probably the most interesting book I read last summer, offering a perspective on the ebb and... Read morePublished 24 days ago by CraigM
Ansary is a good writer and, I think, an objective historian. His discussion of the Assassins helped me understand ISIS.Published 24 days ago by Geri M. Rhodes
Although possessing no overarching argument or thesis per se, Destiny Disputed provides a survey history of the middle east, or as Ansary argues it should the called the middle... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
I like this book very much and when I'm done reading, I will elaborate more. But this statement floored me: "Christianity focused essentially on personal salvation, and saw... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Mclarty
An amazingly lucid and succinct accounting of a history that is not often recognized by the West. This is a must read for anyone trying to understand world history.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
If you're looking for an exhaustive scholarly history of Islam, this isn't your book. But if, like me, you want a readable, even entertaining, overview to help fill a gaping gap... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. A. Bay