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After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

Paperback

By (author) Lesley Hazleton

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  • Publisher: Anchor Books
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 202mm x 22mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 20 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385523947
  • ISBN 13: 9780385523943
  • Sales rank: 22,054

Product description

In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever. Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad's ideal of unity. Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, "After the Prophet" explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia-Sunni split.

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Author information

British-born Lesley Hazleton is a veteran Middle East journalist whose work has appeared in the" New York Times, Esquire, Vanity Fair, "the" Nation," and other publications. The author of several books on Middle East politics, religion, and history, Hazleton now lives in Seattle, Washington. She blogs about religion and politics at AccidentalTheologist.com. For more information, visit: www.aftertheprophet.com.

Review quote

"Fascinating. . . . Lively and engaging. . . . Anyone seeking to understand today's Middle East can learn from this book. . . . Hazleton not only recounts the facts behind the split but also expertly uses centuries-old accounts to convey the depth of emotional and spiritual associations bundled within a simple word like 'Karbala.' . . . [She] deftly uses original sources, many based on contemporaneous or nearly so oral accounts, to give life and breath to figures familiar to every Muslim but unknown to most non-Muslims." --"Seattle Times" "Illuminating. . . . "After the Prophet" will be held up as a primer for grasping the modern-day Middle East." --"The Miami Herald" "Remarkable. . . . A story of human passion and consequence, told with consummate skill. . . . [Hazleton] manages the not inconsiderable feat of maintaining scholarly respect for her subject while also showing a real fondness for the people at the story's heart--people who, we learn, were not unlike us, and whose tale is directly linked to today's newscast." --"Dallas Morning News" "Thrilling in its depiction of long-ago events. . . . Passionately and scrupulously done." --"The Wall Street Journal" "As sectarian aggression flares in Iraq, Hazleton's explanation of its deep, entrenched roots is essential." --"Christian Science Monitor " "A remarkable and respectful telling of the story of Islam--a tale of power, intrigue, rivalry, jealousy, assassination, manipulation, greed, and faith that would have made Machiavelli shudder (had he read it), but above all it is a very human story, told in a wonderfully novelistic style that puts most other, often dreary, explanations of the Shia-Sunni divide to shame." --Hooman Majd, author of "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ" "A profound story masterfully told. . . . An exceptional book." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "A page turner that reads like an incredible cross between a suspense thr