Enter your mobile number or email address 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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

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

Buy Used
$263.51
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by croresbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: used book is in good condition. May not include supplemental materials such as CDs and access codes.
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 this image

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East (Council on Foreign Relations Book) [Hardcover] Unknown Binding – 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$27.95 $263.51

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B004W3QAPA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,904,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a truly innovative and profound book. Coleman is able to present the journey towards equal rights across the Middle East through the lens of men and women living and prospering in that region. Paradise Beneath Her Feet illustrates how a new type of feminism is gaining traction across the Muslim world--one that works within the framework of Islam. Instead of secular models of feminism, Islamic feminism has been able to effectively lobby for women's rights, education, and economic independence across the Middle East.

Coleman presents the success of Islamic feminism through her travels to five key nations in the Middle East--Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia--and conversations with Muslim men and women working towards the improvement of the status of women. The book's presentation of these individuals alongside historical and political analyses of the region allows for an exceedingly engaging and informative read.
1 Comment 16 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: Hardcover
Isobel Coleman is senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (an independent, non-partisan organization not affiliated with the U.S. Govt.). This book is the result of nearly a decade of travel, study, interviews, and writing about women in the Middle East.

Paradise Beneath Her Feet is an overview of both the history and current state of affairs with regard to women's rights in the Middle East. Each chapter is devoted to one of the major Middle Eastern nations. Issues are complex and progress is slow, but courageous and persistent women in these countries are speaking out for fair treatment and equal rights. They arm themselves with verses from the Quran which call for justice and nonviolence toward women.
The key challenge lies in disentangling cultural traditions from the actual tenets of Islam. Many of the restrictions placed on women in the name of Islam come from primitive beliefs not supported by the Quran. As these women study the Quran on their own, they are able to show that many Muslim family laws are not defensible using holy scripture.
Comment 3 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
By Zahabiya on December 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
Being a strong Muslim feminist, this book was absolutely enlightening. I basically flew through it by nodding my head constantly at everything. YES, There are some controversies within the text depending on your sect of Islam; there were some aspects I disagreed with, though overall, Coleman expressed a non-bias summary of many Middle Eastern countries and Muslim countries in an eloquent manner. I recommend this book to all Muslim women, non-Muslim women, Muslim men, and, basically, every human being out there. Beautiful book.
Comment One person 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
Coleman goes listening to Muslim women and finds whole movements for gender equality from Morocco to Indonesia. The leaders and scholars she visits have been at this for years, making slow but steady progress. Their positive approach calls biased interpretations of Islamic teaching into question, and asserts equality as a fundamental Islamic value. Where many Westerners would ridicule Muslim feminists as dupes or whitewashers, Coleman shows their quiet heroism, which is bringing women's perspectives to bear in the great debate over Islam's future. It's unobtrusive reporting that covers some of the best news on the planet.
Comment 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: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

From the back flyleaf: "Isobel Coleman is a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she also directs the council's Women and Foreign Policy program." From one of the reviews (this one by Jeanette) at Amazon.com: "This book is the result of nearly a decade of travel, study, interviews, and writing about women in the Middle East."

Talk about convincing! Wow. Coleman offers direct (sometimes anecdotal, much more often statistical) evidence to prove the value of giving money to women (not men), and educating women (along with men). Here, she writes about educating women: "Due to the central role women play in the domestic sphere, increasing a mother's schooling has a larger positive impact on the next generation than does adding to a father's schooling by the same number of years" (p. 19). The direct, positive correlation between a country's openness to educating women and that country's rise from poverty is clear and well established.

I thought Coleman's comments about promoting women to government positions as a way to counter extremism was insightful and accurate. (Isn't it interesting that in America (between 1848 and 1920) "conservative Christians sustained a consistent rhetoric that giving women rights was against the teachings of the Bible, and would undermine the family" (p. 27), and as recently as 2010: "The Vatican today [July 15, 2010] made the `attempted ordination' of women one of the gravest crimes under church law, putting it in the same category as clerical sex abuse of minors, heresy and schism." Can you believe it? Islam doesn't even allow men and women to pray together (p. 33).
Read more ›
Comment 4 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: Hardcover
Read this book!

Isobel Coleman has written a concise and inspiring account of how individual women are changing the attitudes in the Middle East. Through the use of traditional religious texts, in this case the Holy Qur'an, women are successfully challenging how they are being treated and winning concessions from the male hierarchy. Ms. Coleman has a real gift for presenting these women as vibrant, intelligent individuals. Her ability to mix anecdote with hard fact makes this book a real joy to read. As one who has recently completed studies on a Master's Degree in international diplomacy, I have had to wade through many dry tomes. Paradise Beneath Her Feet does not fall into that category. It is that rare and happy mix of informative and entertaining. It also goes a long way towards dispelling the misconceptions that surround Islam and the Holy Qur'an. Paradise Beneath Her Feet should be required reading for anyone interested in human rights, religion, or international relations.
Comment 7 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