A panoramic yet nuanced investigation into the lives and dreams of Muslims living in Europe and the US. LeBor, a correspondent for the Times of London, first became interested in Europe's Muslims during his stint in the war zones of Bosnia. This volume brims with both the curiosity and the openness that the Jewish LeBor brings to his investigative journey and to the possibilities of Muslim contributions to the West. LeBor travels to a diverse group of communities that share similar questions about Muslim participation in the larger culture and polity. This book is divided into separate chapters on wartime Sarajevo, the rebirth of Islam in Bosnia, Muslims in London and in the heart of Yorkshire, the predominantly Algerian Muslim community of France, Germany's second generation of Turks (``Euro-Turks''), new possibilities for modern Islam in Turkey, and Muslim political activism in the US. In each, the narrative is dominated by lengthy citations from extensive interviews conducted with a broad spectrum of Muslims from each country. LeBor, with a conversational tone and a deft touch, succinctly explains the different aspirations within each community and the tensions between Muslim modernists and radical Islamists that he encounters everywhere. Interviewees are often poignant and eloquent, and LeBor succeeds in giving voice to their dreams and frustrations. He reveals more of his own visions of Western Islam, both past and present, when discussing Europe's ``forgotten Islamic heritage'' and Western Muslims' future. Here LeBor points to the achievements of Islamic Spain and its commingling of cultures and religions as a model of multicultural coexistence. With the millions of Muslims now permanently living in the West, he argues, Muslims and non-Muslims alike must learn to coexist. A timely and accessible look into how both Western Muslims and their neighbors are dealing with the political, social, and spiritual issues raised by an increasing Muslim presence in the West.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-312-18109-4

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1997

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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