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The Crisis of Islam

The Crisis of Islam

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Written by Bernard LewisAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Bernard Lewis

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • On Sale: March 2, 2004
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8129-6785-2 (0-8129-6785-2)
about this book

“Terrorism requires only a few. Obviously the West must defend itself by whatever means will be effective. But in devising means to fight the terrorists, it would surely be useful to understand the forces that drive them.” —from the Introduction

In The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today, and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world.

Lewis examines these issues through a survey of thirteen centuries of history, but in particular he charts the key events of the twentieth century leading up to the violent confrontations of today: the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States. While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is very new. So, too, is the cult of the suicide bomber. Lewis helps to put these recent developments into their proper historical context.

Brilliantly disentangling the crosscurrents of Middle Eastern history from the rhetoric of its manipulators, Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award-winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for students of religion, Middle East Studies, and International Relations.

This paperback edition also includes a new epilogue by the author.


Praise for The Crisis of Islam...

“Remarkably succinct . . . It offers a long view in the midst of so much short-termism and confusing punditry. Lewis has done us all—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—a remarkable service.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A timely and provocative contribution to the current raging debate about the tensions between the West and the Islamic world.” —BusinessWeek