Islam: A Short History
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... show more
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.
Publish date: August 6th 2002
Publisher: Modern Library
Pages no: 272
Edition language: English
Series: Modern Library Chronicles 6 (#2)
Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (New York: The Modern Library, 2002). Pp. 230. Paperback $15.95. I was going through used bookstores in Omaha last week and I came across this book. It was a decent price, and I’ve been looking for a book about the history of the Middle East. I want to be be...
It's a good book, though pretty brief in parts. It makes an OK introduction, though, for precisely that reason. A more significant complaint might be that it's not objective. There is a distinctive thread running through Armstrong's work, which is her belief that the "true" form of any religion is...
Armstrong has a lot of knowledge and she tries to stuff too much of it in this short history. Either a broader perspective or a longer book would be better. I would recommend Reza Aslan's "No god but God" over this, or at least read it before reading this.
When I watch our pundits pontificate on affairs in the Middle East, I usually wind up pounding my forehead on the table: Things can't possibly be as simple as all that, and this "short history" of Islam proves that.As usual, Armstrong packs a lot of information into a small package. This is a high a...
A great first book for Westerners on Islam -- but not a great only book on the history and ideologies of the tradition. Readers will get a good grounding for further reading, but those who stop here will have serious gaps in their knowledge of the subject.