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Deep insight on an enduring dilemma -- history persists,
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This review is from: The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist (Hardcover)
This is an extraordinary clear, clinical, and dispassionate exposition of the contemporary Islamist crisis and the implications for Islam's neighbors - including the Western cultures to which so many Muslims are migrating. The author masterfully elicits the historical, political-ideological, and philosophical lessons from the fourteen hundred years of political Islam's turbulent history and finds the original locus of that turbulence in Islam's seminal struggle with rationality in its deep past, in which rationality lost out. Reilly evokes parallels to such original crafters of similar analyses as political philosopher Eric Voegelin who charted the links between the Gnostic traditions of antiquity and contemporary "isms" (e.g., Marxism); or to the seminal exposures of the results of such murderous "isms" by Robert Conquest and Richard Pipes in their devastating studies of the bloody-minded and mass murdering intellectuals who created and ran the USSR. After Reilly, the sound bites on Islam by politicians, government officials, and celebrity "experts" are exposed for what they are: ignorant boilerplate. No comfort may be taken in that observation.
By John J. Dziak, Ph.D., author of "Chekisty: A History of the KGB."