Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $4.81 (30%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Assassins has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Assassins Paperback – November 26, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.14
$7.17 $0.32

Political Biographies & Memoirs
Trump and Me
Trump and Me
Trump and Me
$11.14 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Assassins
  • +
  • The Secret Order of Assassins: The Struggle of the Early Nizari Ismai'lis Against the Islamic World
  • +
  • The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven
Total price: $55.19
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Learned, lucid and elegant...with great skill [Lewis] disentangles truth from legend." -- The Economist

"No one writes about Muslim history with greater authority, or intelligence, or literary charm than Professor Bernard Lewis." -- Sunday Times (London)

"[Lewis] traces with an easy, almost conversational scholarship the emergence, triumph, and sudden demise of the [Assassin] faith." -- The New Yorker

About the Author

Bernard Lewis, author of What Went Wrong?, The Middle East, The Muslim Discovery of Europe, The Arabs in History, and many other books, is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reissue edition (November 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465004989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465004980
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's probably a fair guess that sales of Bernard Lewis's "The Assassins" were a lot slower before 9/11 than they are today. Many who purchased this book over the past year probably did so hoping that it would help provide some insight into Osama bin Laden and the terrorist network he heads. This book doesn't really do that, although that's no reflection on what Lewis has actually accomplished here. He wrote "The Assassins" more than a third of a century ago, and there are very significant differences between the Nizari Ismaili Order and the hate-filled fanatics of Al-Qaeda. But although this book won't help you understand what makes Osama bin Laden and his acolytes tick, it will introduce you to an important and little-known chunk of medieval Islamic history in which a lot of intriguing historical personalities play starring or supporting roles. This should be more than reward enough.
The group we call the Assassins are more accurately known as the Nizari Ismailis, an offshoot sect of Shi'i Islam. Their sect still survives today in the followers of the Aga Khan, whose communities from India to southern California reflect a progressive and humane face of Islam. From the late eleventh to thirteenth centuries, however, the Nizaris' struggle for survival in the midst of their more numerous and militarily powerful Sunni enemies led them to develop a form of defensive terrorism that proved remarkably effective in ensuring their security for almost two hundred years. In the end, however, the sect's lurid reputation proved its undoing -- for the Mongol khans ultimately concluded that their own safety could only be secured by the Assassins' extermination.

There are some similarities between the Assassins' modus operandi and that of today's Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Read more ›
4 Comments 89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This well-written book is obviously the work of an erudite writer. Lewis provides a thorough examination of what became known to the Europeans as the Assassins. From explaining likely explanations of where the word "Assassin" came from to describing the shadowy ruler of the group, known as "The Old Man of the Mountain," Lewis keeps the reader interested by making insightful comments and offerring thoughtful analysis. Lewis writes about the origins of the Assassin movement, the affects of the Assassins on European Crusaders, Sunni rulers and others. He explains probably causes for their existence with a thorough examination of primary source material. The Assassins are a fascinating study for not only those interested in the history of Islam or the Near East, but is also perfect for those who are interested in fundamentalism, comparative religion, radicalism or someone who wants to learn more about different peoples in a different time period (sometimes the similarities between the Assassin movement and modern fundamentalist and/or radical religious movements are striking). Another fascinating aspect of this book is its sociological explanations of why the Assassins lived primarily in the mountains compared to the Sunni who lived in the fertile river vallies. I especially recommend this book to professors of Religion/History classes who are looking for a very well-written book that provides valuable information while keeping the student interested.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This new edition has come out in the wake of the Sept 11 bombings and and upsurge in interest in Bernard Lewis's works. Those expecting a "glossy," ripped-from-the-headlines history might be put off by this book... it is a slightly updated reprinting of his classic history written a half-century ago. While it may not be a popular coffee table book, it is a throrough, highly informed work on the group that gave its name to political murder. To be honest, I got much more out of it the second time I read through it... some of the names, medieval politics, and Islamic debates left me feeling lost. The second time through, more things fell into place and I appreciated the details a great deal more. Also, I greatly appreciated his incredible knowlege of the subject and the region as a whole, as well as his keen insights into Islamic thinking. Clearly, Lewis is one of the most important Middle East scholars in a long time. Those looking for a scholarly, de-mystifying, and on its own terms readable work on the Assassins will like this book. If you're simply curious about this mysterious group, you may get more out of this volume if you first read one of Lewis's broader introductions to Islam... click on the authors name and several good choices will show up.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Lewis writes in the introduction that his publishers and reviewers in recent years have sensationalized the book by linking the study to modern Islamic terrorism. What emerges instead is a straightforward and highly competent historical summary of a particular Ismaili offshoot of Shiism also known as Nizaris after the belief that descendants of the elder son Nizar of the 8th Fatimid Caliph al-Mustansir of Egypt were the rightful line of succession. That there were no surviving family members of the line led to the belief in the "hidden imam" who would reveal himself at the end of time.

In 1089 Hassan-i Sabbah, a Persian Ismaili, who established Alamut, a castle just south of the Caspian Sea as the Assassin base, and employed a pattern of terrorism by sending out his fida'i (pl. fidayeen) to commit attacks against Seljuk and Abbasid alike, and is credited with masterminding some 50 assassinations. His dynasty continues in a similar mold, though with less frequent assassinations, expanding to further castle freeholds, eventually becoming a normalized kingdom under Jalal an-Din Hassan (1211-1221) who gives up assassination as a political tool and moved towards reconciliation with Sunni practices. The final link in the chain is his grandson, Rukn al Din Rather than a glorious finale in battle, the Assassin leader reacts to the Mongol Hulegu's demands for dismantling his settlements by appeasement, and in the end Hulegu has him and his followers killed in 1256.

Meanwhile in Syria the cult gains a following around Homs and Aleppo, drawn from other Ismaili offshoots such as Alawites and Druze.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Assassins
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Assassins