Islam and the West

Islam and the West

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Is it correct to equate Islam with the West, a religious community with a geo-political entity? Islam is not a place; it is a religion. But, in this enlightening and distinguished collection of essays, several of them previously unpublished in English, Bernard Lewis questions the apparent asymmetries between Islam and the West, explores the vast common heritage both communities share and investigates each side's perception of the other. Many of the pieces examine the troubled relations between the two regions since the Middle Ages, focusing in particular on the impact of the West on the Middle East in modern times, and the Islamic responses to Western dominance. Especially timely are articles on the resurgence of Islam and anti-Western sentiment in recent years and on the failure of democratic institutions to take hold in the region. Bernard Lewis is one of the world's leading scholars of the Middle East. He is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, at Princeton University. Previously, a permanent member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195076192
  • 9780195076196

Back cover copy

In Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis brings together in one volume eleven essays that indeed open doors to the innermost domains of Islam.
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Review quote

Bernard Lewis's book Islam and the West could not have come at a more opportune time to answer some of the nagging questions and myths about Islam ... the author masterfully dwells on the biases and prejudices of both sides (Christian Europe and the Islamic world) which tend to put distance between the two worlds and civilizations ... The book is an excellent contribution to the understanding of the complex world of Islam. But, more importantly, it
is a thoroughly researched and convincing analysis of the ebb and flow in the relationship between the two giant religious civilizations of the world, Christianity and Islam. It is recommended reading for students at the undergraduate and graduate level who want an insight into the dynamics of contemporary
international affairs in the Middle East and the whole Euro-Arab world. * Nationalism and Ethnic Politics * Islam and the West is a well-written and erudite book, affording many important insights on the history of cultural interaction between Europe and the Middle East. * Diplomatic History * `collection of erudite essays'
International Affairs 'His immense knowledge and meticulous attention to detail make these chapters a pleasure to read.'
Times Higher Education Supplement `Offer[s] perspectives that deserve to be seen outside specialist circles.'
Malise Ruthven, The Guardian 'Eleven superb essays on the culture clash between the Islamic nations of the Middle East and the more secularized West ... Scholarly but not pedantic, writing without fear or favor, Lewis makes an ideal guide through the political, religious, and cultural thickets of Islam ... his reach is as wide as his touch is sure. His tone is objective throughout ... A learned, forceful analysis that treats Islam with respect, not condescension.'
Kirkus Reviews 'As the author of numerous books and articles on the Middle East, as a scholar of extraordinary erudition and a leading philologist, he is probably the best-known Orientalist in the English-speaking world.'
Washington Times 'he is well worth reading for the experience and erudition of his writing, and the refreshing lucidity of his style'
San Francisco Chronicle Review 'a book of essays that gather his provocative thoughts on the subject'
Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune 'As ever, Lewis speak with authority, in prose marked by lucidity, elegance, wit and force. His interpretation is informed by enormous erudition, by wonderful skill in shaping his narratives and analyses, and by a clear sense of his own values and premises. This is a challenging book that deserves a wide audience.'
R. New York Newsday 'Bernard Lewis's brilliant book of essays ... weaves a seamless web between past and present. In a collection of remarkable learning and range Mr. Lewis takes us ... from the early encounters of Christendom and Islam to today's Islamic dilemmas ... to be taken through a treacherous terrain by the coolest and most reassuring of guides. You are in the hands of the Islamic world's foremost living historian. Of that world's ordeal he writes with the greatest care and
authority and no small measure of sympathy. The book's most engaging essay is a passionate defense of Orientalism that foreshadows today's debate about multi-culturalism and the study of non-Western history. With Mr. Lewis's rebuttal the debate is joined, as a great historian defends the meaning of
scholarship and taken as those who would bully its practitioners in pursuit of some partisan truths. It is an unsentimental view of history that Mr. Lewis presents.'
Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal `A rich account.'
International Herald Tribune `Particularly timely ... Lewis is the outstanding Western scholar in Islamic history and culture. These short, well-written essays underscore how different Islam is from the West.'
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About Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus, at Princeton University. His work has been translated in twenty-two languages, and he has lectured in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and America, and in many Muslim countries.
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Rating details

205 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 17% (35)
4 39% (80)
3 27% (56)
2 10% (21)
1 6% (13)
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