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Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader Paperback – September 28, 2010
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"...a dramatic story of quarreling tribes, of Sufi sects and brotherhoods, of treacherous Ottoman officials, rival French generals, secret negotiations, broken truces, terrible atrocities and new forms of insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare. Any number of episodes could inspire novels... But it is hard to read Commander of the Faithful without thinking of more recent events. - Peter Steinfels, New York Times
"...a strikingly good biography and an important one as well... the result of more than a decade of scholarly research." - ForeWord Magazine
"...notable for illustrating that the meeting of civilizations need not always produce a clash." - Kirkus Reviews
"...a valuable and timely reminder of a gifted man who is regarded by many as a philosopher-saint who balanced devout faith with openness to new ideas.... that rare figure: a bridge between East and West." - Times Literary Supplement
"...brings both the man and his world brilliantly to life." - Steve Simon, Council on Foreign Relations
"...could only have been written by someone with a profound knowledge of the French and Arab worlds..." - Fredrick Starr, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
"...an important book on an important subject. I hope it will reach a wide audience. I will introduce it to my fellow scholars and students." - Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University
"Commander of the Faithful should be used as a guidebook for understanding current and future conflicts and interventions." - Col. John Bourgeois USMC (ret)
About the Author
John W. Kiser is the author of four books including The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria (St. Martins, 2002). He is a former international technology broker with a B.A. in European History from Columbia and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. His articles have been published in Foreign Policy Magazine, the Washington Post.
Top customer reviews
Abd el-Kader was raised in the tolerant religious tradition of Islamic Sufism, and his duties and obligations as a religious scholar and leader were paramount during his military campaigns and later on during his exile in France and ultimately in Damascus. A clear distinction is visible between Abd el-Kader's worldview and that of the stereotypical Islamic scholar of today. Kiser treats his subject with respect - respect that often borders on adulation, but the treatment of the French is also gentle. Despite being colonizers (some contemplating the Native American solution to Algeria), many of them are depicted as wanting to do the right thing.
Definitely worth reading.
Most recent customer reviews
If someone in Hollywood is looking for an interesting, gripping and timely subject...Read more