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Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East Paperback – November 15, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Lewis (Near Eastern studies, Emeritus, Princeton Univ.) is noted for his many valuable historical works on the Middle East. This revised and updated collection of historical essays (Alcove, 1973) adds commentary on more recent events such as Anwar Sadat's assassination, the Salman Rushdie controversy, Khomeini's rise to power, and the surprising support of Sadam Hussein by some Arab groups. Nineteen of the original 21 essays have been reworked and combined with 13 additional historical/historiographical essays focused on contemporary events. Lewis's lucid style brings a fresh perspective and understanding to scholar and casual reader alike. Highly recommended.
- Paula I. Nielson, Loyola Marymount Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, is considered the leading expert on Islam in the West.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court; 2nd edition (November 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812695186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812695182
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,779,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
This book has 32 essays that focus on very specific topics.
Terry Tucker
Anybody wishing to gain some understanding of this very important, very misunderstood, and very troubled civilization, should read this book.
sid1gen
It is unlikely Turkey will still present itself as a democracy much longer.
Harry Eagar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By sid1gen on December 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
As Professor Lewis states in the Preface to the second edition of this work, "Islam in History" is a collection of thirty-two articles on Islam. Anybody wishing to gain some understanding of this very important, very misunderstood, and very troubled civilization, should read this book. Lewis, once again, provides the reader with a magnificent work that is not pedantic but instructive, that does not belittle its subject nor its audience, and that demonstrates how necessary true scholarship is, particularly in times such as these.
The book is divided into eight parts: Western Approaches, Muslim History and Historians, Muslims and Jews, Turks and Tatars, In Black and White, History and Revolution, New Ideas, and New Events. Since this new edition dates from 1993, the recent developments in the world should not be expected. However, I really meant it when I wrote that true scholarship is necessary in our world: in the last essay of this volume, Lewis writes that there have been basically two atitudes from Muslims to confront the problems of the Islamic/Arab world (he does not deal with the East-Asian Mulims, like Indonesians and Malaysians, because he admits that he does not know much about them), divided into two questions. The first one is "What did we do wrong?" The second is "Who did this to us?" The first question leads to the search for solutions. The second question, and this deserves to be quoted at length, "leads to delusions and fantasies and conspiracy theories--indeed, the most dangerous enemies of the Muslim peoples at this time are those who assure them that in all their troubles the fault is not in themselves but in open or occult hostile forces.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Waller on October 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I understand that Prof Lewis is alleged to be an expert in middle eastern studies, and is the "go to guy" when leaders want to know details so they can make decisions regarding the region. I am not a leader. I am an educated 59 y/o physician who wanted to improve my understanding of the religion and people of the middle east. I gave this book my utmost attention and actually read it twice. I researched Dr Lewis, his life and myriad of accolades and awards.
I gave him every benefit of the doubt that he was indeed an expert in the field? However, after every effort on my behalf and giving my best attention I now know nothing more of the "people" of the Islamic faith, how and why they feel as they do toward the west than I did before I started. After enduring many lectures over my years of study Dr Lewis impresses me as a professor who enjoys hearing himself talk though knows little of the indepth material of which he speaks. When was the last time and for that matter how much time did Dr Lewis actually spend with the very people of the region for which he is so knowledgeable.
My only conclusion is that the audiance for which this particular book was written is a far more enlightened and educated group than which I am included. My personal advice to those are considering the purchase of this book is to save your money unless you too are a member of his exclusive club of intellectual middle east experts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Crayton Silsby on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Lewis, as always, impresses; breadth of knowledge and research is typically outstanding. Flashes of good judgement, but pretentious and assertive (though mine's apparently an earlier edition: "Ideas, Men and Events...East" and he may've softened tone a touch for 2nd ed.)- and, regardless, it'd certainly be difficult to blame him for this-- the man's a thoroughbred. His philology isn't always accurate, and the spirit is truly 'orientalist' in Said's sense; nonetheless, a terribly enjoyable read and a classic source for a foundation in the subject.
ps- His Babel to Dragomans is even more impressive and should be compulsory.
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