Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes
Right time, right place, right style, this is 100% recommended.
This is vast but fast history : you have to hang on to your hat, or whatever you hang on to, which might not be a hat, since the kind of hats which a strong wind might snatch from your head are rarely worn today. In this book a lot of obscure places and people go rushing by, like a speeded up film, like a boiling river. Obscure to a Western reader, that is, but I’m going to hazard that Transoxiana, Khorasan, Ctesiphon, and the exact ...more
Being neither Muslim nor Western, but nevertheless a citizen of what CNN and other Western media regularly dub “the world’s largest Muslim nation*”, I often feel baffled by the so-called “clash of civilizations” between these two entities. And lately, not just baffled, but also profoundly disturbed by the scale and frequency of sectarian violence in my country, the majority of which allegedly perpetrated by those the author of this book calls “jihadists”. The overwhelming majority of Indonesians ...more
History has long been my favorite subject. I loved it in primary school, all the way through choosing to dig in more with graduate studies. History of just about any time, any region, any macro or micro subject. But let's be honest - sometimes the way that hist ...more
World History, says Tamim Ansary in his introduction, is always the story about how we got to be where we are. It therefore always includes an implicit notion of who "we" are, and what our current place in the history of the world is.
Most people with a basic college education feel that they know how history works. First there was the ancient world, from whose murky depths emerged the cultural brilliance of the Greeks and the political might of the Romans. Then the Roman Empire fell, plunging the...more
When I got this book I had an idea that I would gain some insight into world history as seen through Islamic eyes. I guess I got a little of that, but mostly it was a quick trip through a very vast subject. We, for instance, got to see what was happening in the Arab world when the Crusaders showed up; things like that. There was a lot of glaring omissions, though. The wealthy, gold-rich Islamic kingdoms ...more
If you know next to nothing about Islam - its history, tenets, and how it's shaped the civilizations of the Middle East (a term that is coined by the West) for over a millennium, and why it is has long clashed with Christianity and the Western Power (though not always), then this is an excellent introduction to these subjects told in a fairly balanced and intelligent manner.
You'll gain a much better appreciation for the all the different schis ...more
If you are at all interested in reading about the rise and fall of the Muslim world from the 7th century to the 21st, I wholeheartedly recommend Destiny Di ...more
As a student of world history (amongst so many other things), I am often curious as to how the way the world has unfolded is viewed by peoples throughout the world. After all, the axiom, "history is written by the victorious," far too often colors what we ourselves come across on a daily basis as we are woven int ...more
With the irreverence and razor sharp prose (less stuffy professor, more Aaron Sorkin), Ansary succeeds in forcibly reframing his reader’s sense of orientation. The center of your world map shi ...more