THE ARABS KNEW by Tillie S. & Joseph Levine Pine


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This Pine/Levine series has come to seem as ancient as the cultures it describes. Now, with the new ascension of the star of Islam, they favor the Arabs with the same scattershot appreciation previously awarded ""the (American) Indians,"" ""the Africans,"" and others. The first few items listed here--""The Arabs Knew"" how to use the camel, make tents, and find water in the desert--don't lend themselves very well to the follow-up ""Today we. . ."" and ""You can. . ."" that are part of the series format, and the later, more seminal examples of Arab knowledge--scientific experimentation, an easy number system, and the invention of zero--don't lend themselves to the disjointed, one-paragraphver-item exposition. (That ""the Arabs know how to spread their learning to people in other parts of the world"" scarcely hints at their contribution to the European Renaissance, and the significant medical discoveries are relegated to a sort of one-page, summarizing afterthought.) Though inoffensive, unpretentious, and easy to read, by today's standards this and earlier volumes come across as superficial and only marginally enlightening.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1976
Publisher: McGraw-Hill