ISLAM IN HISTORY by Bernard Lewis

ISLAM IN HISTORY

Ideas, People, And Events In The Middle East
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this collection of essays, book reviews and occasional pieces, Lewis, eminent British historian and orientalist (his Emergence of Modern Turkey and The Arabs in History are scholarly staples) demonstrates his erudition and linguistic versatility on subjects ranging from the Mongol invasions to Arab-Israeli antagonisms with an emphasis on archaism. He has a penchant for looking at Middle Eastern civilizations as vital cultural and social entities (although he admits that the Islamic religion remains "in the 14th century"); the numerous essays on Turkish and Arabic documentary sources can be seen as attempts to substantiate this claim, and to refute the conception of East-West contact as a one-way transaction. At times, however, Lewis slips into pro-Arab bias: e.g. by defining anti-Semitism "in its modern form" as "the response of the secularized Christian to the emancipated Jew" he attempts to prove that "it is doubtful" that this prejudice exists "among Muslim Arabs." Addenda for specialists on the Middle East on questions which rarely come within the general reader's purview.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1973
ISBN: 0812692179
Page count: 487pp
Publisher: Library Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1973




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