Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East

Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East

Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East

Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East

Synopsis

From the first expansion of Islam to the exploits of Saddam Hussein, Middle Eastern society has been fatefully involved with the West. This revised and updated collection of essays by a leading Western expert on Islam and the Middle East gives essential background to the present Middle Eastern conflicts and their interaction, through mutual misunderstanding, with Western conceptions. From the first expansion of Islam to the exploits of Saddam Hussein, Middle Eastern society has been fatefully involved with the West. This revised and updated collection of essays by a Western expert on Islam and the Middle East gives valuable background information in relation to the present Middle Eastern conflicts and their interaction, through mutual misunderstanding, with Western conceptions.

Excerpt

The first edition of this book was published in 1973 and contained twenty-one articles on different aspects of Islamic and Middle Eastern history and historiography. in this new edition two of these articles have been deleted, one of them entitled “The Muslim Discovery of Europe,” the other, “Semites and Anti-Semites.” Each of these articles proved to be the nucleus of a book devoted to the same subject and published under the same title. I have however added thirteen new articles, all of them published since the first edition appeared and many of them dealing with recent and contemporary topics. This has also involved some rearrangement and reclassification of the articles. in preparing this new edition, I have also taken the opportunity to make a number of corrections and revisions, to take account both of the advance of scholarship and of the course of events. Some, especially the older ones, have been extensively revised; a few, entirely recast and rewritten. Almost all of them have been modified to some extent.

My thanks are due to the publishers and editors who gave permission to reprint material first published by them. in the first edition I offered my special thanks to Miss Bryan-Healing and Mrs. Alice Watson “for their hawk-eyed and dove-mannered editing of my text.” For this edition I would like to add a word of thanks to Mr. David Steele and Mr. Edward Roberts, both of Open Court, for their many contributions to the improvement and production of this volume. Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to the reviewers of the first edition of this book, especially to those whose comments enabled me to make some changes for the better. I did not however feel obliged to defer to the judgments of those reviewers who in 1973 thought that I had underestimated “the gains made by secularism in the Muslim world” and that I had exaggerated the significance of religious movements in Iran.

Princeton 1992 . . .

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