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Publisher's Summary

For many centuries, the world of Islam was at the forefront of human achievement: the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe, a remote land beyond its northwestern frontier, was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and in the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life. In this intriguing volume, Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed, how they had been overtaken, overshadowed, and to an increasing extent dominated by the West.
©2001 Bernard Lewis (P)2002 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"Arguably the West's most distinguished scholar on the Middle East." (Newsweek)
"Lewis has done us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, a remarkable service." (The New York Times Book Review)
"An excitingly knowledgeable antidote to today's natural sense of befuddlement." (The Baltimore Sun)
"Replete with the exceptional historical insight that one has come to expect from the world's foremost Islamic scholar." (The Wall Street Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jason on 03-22-06

Great place to start

Both Bernard Lewis and Albert Hourani were recommended by my Arabic instructor as being reputable in both the Arab and Western Worlds. This book is brief in comparison to the works of Hourani. I would listen to this first. The narrator does a good job and the material is both interesting and relevant. This is good for both the casual and serious student of history. I’ve listened to all of the works available on Audible by this author and I would recommend them all.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Lewis on 09-27-04

Scattered Treasures

The book starts and ends well, but looses its potency in between. I bought the book after seeing Mr. Lewis on CSPAN book review. Let's just say that his CSPAN interview provided more information in a lot less time. I do recognize Mr. Lewis as a western expert on Islam and I will continue to buy his books. I would recommend Karen Armstrong, however, to those who want more substance and a broader understanding.

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29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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