Books by Karen Armstrong

For years she was tagged the "runaway nun," the rebellious ex-Catholic with outspoken opinions about religion--comparing, for example, Pope John Paul II to a Muslim fundamentalist. Now, with her 12th book, "Islam, a Short History" (Modern Library), Kare


TWELVE STEPS TO A COMPASSIONATE LIFE by Karen Armstrong
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 7, 2011

"A commendable effort well-executed."
A call for compassion based on the teachings of the world's religions. Read full book review >
THE CASE FOR GOD by Karen Armstrong
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 25, 2009

"Accessible, intriguing study of how we see God."
Fascinating journey through Western civilization's ongoing attempts to understand and explain the concept of God. Read full book review >
THE BIBLE by Karen Armstrong
RELIGION
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"Overshadowed by Armstrong's more ambitious A History of God (1993), but religion students will find this a worthwhile resource."
Detailed review of the creation and study of the Bible through the centuries. Read full book review >
THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: April 3, 2006

"The point being, as Armstrong writes, that tolerance is a sine qua non in a world in which so many people "prefer being right to being compassionate." A useful text for an intolerant and uncompassionate time."
Prolific religious-studies scholar Armstrong (The Spiral Staircase, 2004, etc.) offers a lively, big-picture treatise in comparative religions, finding similarities more than differences. Read full book review >
THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE by Karen Armstrong
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 8, 2004

"Well-written and relentlessly self-aware."
An introspective, decidedly un-cheery work that seeks to set the author's record straight. Read full book review >
BUDDHA by Karen Armstrong
RELIGION
Released: Feb. 19, 2001

"Those who wish to acquaint themselves with how Buddhism came to be, and with the individual who created it, will find this an essential text."
An excellent primer on the Buddha's life and teachings. Read full book review >
ISLAM by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 2000

"Less attention to politics and a closer look at the spiritual side of Islam would have made this brief history more palatable. Maps (not seen), a key to historic figures, a glossary of Arabic terms, and a bibliography will aid readers who persist."
Would-be students of Islam will throw up their hands in despair at this tangled account of 14 centuries of battling Muslims. Read full book review >
JERUSALEM by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: May 19, 1996

"A History of God is a hard act to follow, and this lucid but unbalanced sequel on God's hometown may not be popular with many of those readers most eager to make a literary pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (60 illustrations, 37 maps; color photos, not seen)"
 A weighty but not evenly weighted study of monotheism's sacred geography and the inglorious history of Jerusalem's turf wars. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 6, 1993

"Magisterial and brilliant."
 Superb kaleidoscopic history of religion, from an English nun- turned-scholar. Read full book review >
HOLY WAR by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1991

"The provocative, albeit tedious, text (previously published in the UK) has six helpful maps."
 Revisionist history with a central thesis that the Crusades were among the direct determinants of latter-day strife in the Middle East. Read full book review >