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Legacy Of The Prophet: Despots, Democrats, And The New Politics Of Islam Paperback – March 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Basic Books Edition . edition (March 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813340187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813340180
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must read for anyone who wants to better understand Islam and its humanity." -- Nora Boustany, Washington Post

"A testament to the balanced yet uncompromising nature of [Shadid's] work." -- New Internationalist

About the Author

Anthony Shadid is a correspondent in Washington for the Boston Globe. Over the past decade, he has reported from most countries in the Middle East and was the winner of an Overseas Press Club citation in 1997 for the series of article that form the core of this book. He was formerly a correspondent in Cairo for the Associated Press.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. Swinney on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Anthony Shadid, though not a native of the Middle East, comes off sounding like one. From his vantage position of a Boston Globe Middle East reporter and Lebanese lineage, he has spent significant time in the Middle East and seems to have an insider's eye in analyzing the torrid political landscape there.
I went on a spate of reading books on the Middle East and Islam after September 11th and this book is at the top of my list and comes highly recommended. In comparison to V.S. Naipul's "Beyond Belief," I would point you to Shadid's book for a good in depth analysis of Islam's current and powerful effect on the Middle East. Naipul's book is good for telling a story of people's lives in non-Arabic Islamic countries, but Shadid's work is what I was looking for...a well-written and engaging breakdown of a variety of Middle East countries and how Islam shapes the politics and daily underpinnings of those places.
Shadid's purview is definitely broad but doesn't loose out in the details of each country and movement. "Legacy of the Prophet," primarily covers Sudan's failed Islamic government, Iran's petered out revolution and Khatami's reform, Egypt's emerging democratic Islamic movements, with several stops in between in Turkey, Palestine, Lebanon, and Afghanistan to name a few.
Shadid's overly optimistic thesis is that Islamic extremism is taking in it's last dying desperate breaths and emerging from it, or as a more widespread alternative, a form of democratic political Islam that seeks to inculcate change from within existing governments.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Gillespie on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This optimistic view of Islamists published in January 2001 was rendered somewhat dated by events later that year. Even though Legacy of the Prophet continues to be a solid account of the moderation and rise of religious political movements in the Middle East, some of the more hopeful assertions would have been naive even if the World Trade Center remained intact. September 11th, of course, also changed some assumptions that would have been reasonable otherwise. All that aside, there remains considerable merit in many of the author's analyses of the region and its politics, and much of the book holds up. Legacy deserves three stars--but barely.
Author Anthony Shadid was an Associated Press correspondent based in Cairo. He understandably focuses much of the book on Egypt, and this provides Legacy with some great insight from the sources he cultivated there over the years. Unfortunately, the concentration on Cairo also minimizes those Islamic countries that probably are more important to the future of the relationship between the Muslim world and the West, notably Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Shadid does an excellent job in explaining the contest between Islamist groups and the repressive regimes that govern them. The social welfare system provided by Hamas, for example, stands in stark contrast with the corrupt government led by the Palestinian Authority. Hezbollah provides for the impoverished Shia while the Beirut government stuggles to bring the nation back from the ashes of civil war.
The darker aspects of these and other groups, though, aren't really explored. One particularly galling aspect of the book is Shadid's near-apologies for the persececution of Christians and other religious minorities in the region.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Legacy Of The Prophet: Despots, Democrats, And The New Politics Of Islam by journalist and Middle East expert Anthony Shadid offers the reader a broad, authoritative history of Islamic politics today. Drawing upon his many years of reporting in more than a dozen countries throughout the Muslim world, Shadid accurately chronicles how a new generation of Islamic militants are coming around to a more realistic and potentially more successful advocacy of their goals through democratic politics. Legacy Of The Prophet is strongly recommended for Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies, and International Political Studies supplemental reading lists and academic reference collections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Trupp on June 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, very informative, perhaps overly optimistic. Shadid shared first-hand knowledge based on his many years in the Middle East. Well worth the reading time and attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Omar H Rahman on May 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a spectacular achievement and a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East and political Islam. Anthony Shadid's analysis of the intellectual battle going on in the Middle East is second to none and it is a big loss that he is no longer around. I have taken several classes on Islam and Democracy and Political Islam without ever reading this book, which looking back is a complete shame. I have also worked in the Middle East as a journalist for four years now and I think Shadid is dead-on in his thinking of this subject.

Moreover, he is an excellent writer. The book is easy to read. Highly recommended.
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