Profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Iranian-born scholar Vali Nasr has become one of America's leading commentators on current events in the Middle East, admired and welcomed by both media and government for his "concise and coherent" analysis (Wall Street Journal). In this "smart, clear and timely" book (Washington Post), Nasr brilliantly dissects the political and theological antagonisms within Islam. He provides a unique and objective understanding of the 1,400-year bitter struggle between Shias and Sunnis, and sheds crucial light on its modern-day consequences—from the nuclear posturing of Iran's President Ahmadinejad to the recent U.S.-enabled shift toward Shia power in Iraq and Hezbollah's continued dominance in Lebanon.More
"Historically incisive, geographically broad-reaching, and brimming with illuminating anecdotes." (Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books)
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The Narrator Needs Language Lessons
The audio version is poor, because the narrator butchers all the names, places and concepts with his terrible pronunciation. He needs to prepare himself better and learn how to pronounce these words, so he does not at times even alter the meaning of the words.
The content of the book is superb, but this narration is a disaster.
The explanation of the differences between the sects.
The narrator could learn to pronounce what he is reading.
No. I do not find this question relevant. It made me think and it made me interested in finding out more.
- Pari Golha
Overview of sectarian dynamics in the region
Most likely not. I thought this book was a great primer on the history of Shia/Sunni relations in the Gulf, but it is does not put forth any truly unique or original way of viewing the region that I feel needs revisiting. This book is a great primer, but not an exhaustive source of information. I haven't decided to purchase a print copy of this book to use as a reference as I have for other audio books I've listened to.
Nasr's wide regional scope, and relatively narrow focus (Sunni/Shia relations) allows for a better analysis of regional trends than many other works which tend to focus solely on the history of a single nation or a single war/political event.
Yes, but I love history in general so that's not much of a surprise!