Siria's Reviews > Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: by-poc, history, nonfiction, world-history
Read from July 14 to 27, 2011

Destiny Disrupted is a lively, engaging introduction to world history from the perspective of the 'Middle World'—Western and Central Asia, the birthplace of Islam. It's not an academic work or a textbook, and covering such a vast swathe of history in about 400 pages means that Ansary inevitably has to gloss over some details. Yet he still manages to impressively synthesise a lot of material here into a narrative which gives the reader a sense of the broad arc of history from a Muslim/non-Western point of view. I will admit that before reading this I knew shamefully little about the process of European colonialism/cultural hegemony in Western and Central Asia from the 17th through to the twentieth centuries; what I read here was a real eye opener. Ansary couples all of this with some insightful analysis as to the differences in perception/discourse which at present prevent many Westerners and Muslims from being able to engage in productive dialogue. Ansary's style is conversational and accessible, though he never dumbs down his content or talks down to the reader. Highly recommended as an introduction to the history of the Muslim—and the wider—world.
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