- Series: Modern Library Chronicles
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Modern Library; Revised, Updated, Subsequent edition (August 6, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780812966183
- ISBN-13: 978-0812966183
- ASIN: 081296618X
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 275 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles) Paperback – August 6, 2002
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“A small gem bristling with insight.” —The Washington Post
“A valuable corrective to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in the English-speaking world. . . . Engaging and provocative.” —The New York Times
“Karen Armstrong, a respected and popular author of several books about religion . . . takes on a useful and formidable task in presenting the history of Islam in a single short volume. As many other such works have been written either by apologists or by those hostile to Islam, Armstrong’s comprehensive and sympathetic work is welcome.” —Los Angeles Times
“In Armstrong’s brisk narrative, the clichés evaporate fast. . . . A book like this is suddenly essential." —Entertainment Weekly
From the Inside Flap
No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong's short history demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.
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In the book, the author takes us through the history of the Islam as well as the Muslims who created it and also draws comparisons from what it used to be to what it has become today. The problem is that the latter should have been left out of the book as the title suggests we are to only learn about the history of Islam. That discussion should have been left at her book 'Fields of Blood', where I believe that such a thesis was much better articulated and presented anyways. As far as just the history goes I feel that it could have possibly been more clear, but regardless Armstrong is a very good writer and it was good enough. There is clearly an agenda but it doesn't necessarily interfere with the history part of the book. My 3 star rating is the product of my high expectations I have for the author but I nevertheless recommend it because Armstrong is an expert on Islam and there is a lot to learn.
her biased statements and her omissions offer a glaring proof that this is non-history at best.