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Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes
 
 

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes [Kindle Edition]

Tamim Ansary
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Review

Baptist Standard "Reading [Tom] Friedman, I was motivated to learn more about the Muslim view of world history. I found a remarkable guide in Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted."General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret)"Tamim Ansary has written a truely superb history of the Islamic world. His excellent analysis provides the reader with an insightful understanding of how that world and its people were shaped by events. This is a must read for all those who want to understand the evolution of a significant global society and how it has interacted with the rest of the world.' Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns "Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read." Dave Eggers, TheRumpus.net "I'm in the middle of Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes, and it's incredibly illuminating. Ansary pretty much covers the entire history of Islam in an incredibly readable and lucid way. I've been recommending this book to everyone I know. Especially when people are looking for a comprehensive-but-approachable way to look at world history through the lens of Islam, there's no better book." San Francisco Chronicle"A must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Islamic world. But the book is more than just a litany of past events. It is also an indispensable guide to understanding the political debates and conflicts of today, from 9/11 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Somali pirates to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. As Ansary writes in his conclusion, "The conflict wracking the modern world is not, I think, best understood as a 'clash of civilizations.' ... It's better understood as the friction generated by two mismatched world histories intersecting." Portland Oregonian"Never apologist in tone, meticulously researched and balanced, often amusing but never glib, Destiny Disrupted is ultimately a gripping drama that pulls the reader into great, seminal events of world history, a book which offers a wealth of knowledge and insight to any reader who wants to understand the movements and events behind the modern-day hostilities wracking Western and Islamic societies." St. Louis Post-Dispatch"If you want to put today's headlines about jihadist suicide bombings into the much larger context of history, you'd be well advised to settle in with Destiny Disrupted. It's the story of a civilization that suddenly found itself upended by strangers and now wants to put itself right. And if author Ansary stops short of calling the result a clash of civilizations, he feels free to call it two one-sided views of world history. His book is a valuable tool for opening up a view of the other side." Shelf Awareness"A lively, thorough and accessible survey of the history of Islam (both the religion and its political dimension) that explores many of the disconnects between Islam and the West." DAWN.com (Pakistan), August 15, 2010"Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted: A history of the world through Islamic eyes is an important work for understanding both past and present issues surrounding the Middle East and the West - Europe and North America - and world history more generally... Ansary's highly approachable writing style makes the very dense subject of Middle Eastern history easy to digest." David Frum's FrumForum, August 16, 2010 "An amusing and anecdotal survey of Islamic history" San Francisco Chronicle, January 4, 2011 "[The fire] was roaring nicely, and I was seated not far from it, reading "Destiny Disrupted" by Tamim Ansary, which is the perfect book for someone who knows hardly anything about the history of the Muslim world and feels that, really, what with things the way they are, a little more attention to detail would be useful. It's one of those "fascinating new fact every paragraph" books. Would you like to know how the Shiite-Sunni schism happened? It's all here. Rumi the poet? He's here. Empires, sultanates, wars, atrocities, cities of great beauty now lost forever, the whole deal. Even the chapters on theology are enjoyable, and I'm not big on the minutiae of belief systems."

Review

General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret)

"Tamim Ansary has written a truely superb history of the Islamic world. His excellent analysis provides the reader with an insightful understanding of how that world and its people were shaped by events. This is a must read for all those who want to understand the evolution of a significant global society and how it has interacted with the rest of the worl

Khaled Hosseini, author of "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns"
"Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read."

"Shelf Awareness"
"A lively, thorough and accessible survey of the history of Islam (both the religion and its political dimension) that explores many of the disconnects between Islam and the West."

"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Islamic world. But the book is more than just a litany of past events. It is also an indispensable guide to understanding the political debates and conflicts of today, from 9/11 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Somali pirates to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. As Ansary writes in his conclusion, "The conflict wracking the modern world is not, I think, best understood as a 'clash of civilizations.' ... It's better understood as the friction generated by two mismatched world histories intersecting."

"Portland Oregonian"
"Never apologist in tone, meticulously researched and balanced, often amusing but never glib, "Destiny Disrupted" is ultimately a gripping drama that pulls the reader into great, seminal events of world history, a book which offers a wealth of knowledge and insight to any reader who wants to unders


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2121 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Reprint edition (28 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EYEPB2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light but fair 13 Dec 2010
By Pardo VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book, although as I went on I found the author's light and folksy style starting to wear a bit thin at times. The book is very easy to read but the author has either picked up, or deliberately adopted, a middle-America tone to his writing since arriving in the States from Afghanistan. We get phrases like "he was just that kind of guy" and "...but wait, as they say on late night TV commercials, that's not all...". There is also regular use of dialogue which for the most part clearly cannot come from direct reporting. It all serves to make the book feel friendly and approachable, but possibly at the expense of intellectual rigour. Still, it is a perfectly enjoyable read (for the most part).

I'm nowhere near even thinly read on this subject, in fact I last gave the Crusades serious attention nearly thirty years ago in the sixth form (and then obviously from an exclusively western perspective), I've heard a couple of In Our Time's on Islamic subjects and my understanding of contemporary issues in the middle east is about the same as any other Radio 4 listening broadsheet reader. So, given that, I'm in no position to judge the accuracy of the author's history but on issues where politics often clouds fair and accurate historical judgement (eg, the Crusades, Suez, Israel/Palestine, and the world post-9/11) the book is scrupulously balanced and fair minded.

In any book that covers such a vast topic and period there is inevitable glossing over and simplification but, given the limitations of any "big picture" history book for non-academic readers, I recommend this and an interesting and worthwhile read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thorough and thoroughly interesting 23 Dec 2010
By Peter Roxburgh TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There is unlikely to be a more apt time for a book like this to be read. The stereotyping of Islam and therefore Muslims with the various wars going on around the world that seem be dividing 'the west' and Islam have all created many assumptions about Islam.

What this book does very thoroughly is explore the political and culture background within which Islam arose. It explains in simple terms Islamic beliefs, how some of them arose, how the prophets tried to preserve the memory of the Prophet to fill in where the Qu'ran wasn't clear and so on.

The book traces the spread of Islam and its metamorphosis across the globe, its interactions with the west and even with its own secular modernists.

A fascinating read for those who wish to broaden their understanding beyond simply what they see or hear on the TV or by reading Daily Mail!

And a definite must for any historian.

Hope that helps.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye-Opener 5 Mar 2011
By The Man from the Ministry TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Like so many people, I often happily expounded views about the Muslim religion, but what I actually knew about Islam could have been written on the back of a postcard. Reading this wonderful book made me feel ashamed of my ignorance and aware of just how imbalanced and patchy our perception of world history is.

A Muslim by birth and a secularist by inclination, Tamim Ansary writes respectfully about Islam, but maintains a healthy scepticism. The result is what appeared to be a fair and balanced overview of Islam, from the birth of the Prophet to the present day - a far cry from the uncompromising texts of the Islamists or militant atheists like Richard Dawkins.

This could have been a very dry, dull book, but Ansary's chatty narative style and ability to make sense of complex ideas and events has produced a compelling read. If you've ever wondered what the differences between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are, or want to know why Islam spread so quickly, this book will make it abundantly clear.

This fascinating book should be required reading for all Western politicians and it might also help to convince Islamophobes that there are two sides to the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent! excellent! excellent! 21 Jan 2012
By steppes
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is one of the very few works that has made me look at what i thought i knew through a different perspective. suddenly it all makes sense! tamim ansary should be congratulated for writing in such a fluid and readable way that doesn't appear to be preaching or academic. but it is a very well thought through view of the islamic world view, oblivious to the world according to the west, just as the west seems oblivious to islamic history.
very highly recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History told by a master storyteller 28 Feb 2010
By Elizabeth Taylor VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a history book nor is it a novel and yet it reads much like a story, told in the ancient tradition of storytelling, and I could easily imagine our author talking aloud to a group. It's a tale lovingly told, a tale of passions, the tale of world history from a non-Western perspective. Like the storytellers of old, the author engages us, cajoles us, throws in little tit-bits of gossip but most of all informs the un-informed. So, be warned history buffs, although there is an extensive bibliography this is a one man's perspective of certain events he has chosen to include and he makes no excuse for that. The title also makes clear that this is a religious tale, so be prepared for explanations of Islam the religion and Islam the way of life, its tenants and rules, as well the details of what sometimes seemed to me obscure differences of opinion. There are also mystics and universities of learning and through the tales one learns their debut to our Classical world and their gift in return, to western civilization which allowed the Enlightment and Renaissance to flourish. Reading this I felt that the tragedy of the currently popular ''clash of civilizations'' is that sailing back and forth on the sea of time we are completely intertwined; learning, knowledge and culture seeping back and forth between, so ultimatey its a re-telling of bits of our culture that we seemed to have rubbed out of the history books.

I thoroughly enjoyed, this unusual and personal telling of history as a story, its engaging, interesting and amusing - the author is just that a author not a historian, so he can give his view and get away with it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Introduction
'Destiny Disrupted is neither a textbook nor a scholarly thesis. It's more like what I'd tell you if we met in a coffeehouse and you said, “What's all this about a parallel world... Read more
Published 4 days ago by C. Bathgate
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
a very interesting read which is a great starter introduction to the evolution of the muslim faith and world.its interactions with the western world,mongols and china. Read more
Published 2 months ago by m. dosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
One of the most fascinating books I have ever read. The familiar history of the world is completely transformed by this different perspective. Read more
Published 2 months ago by nipper
4.0 out of 5 stars The Middle World
This is a very readable and entertaining history of the Islamic world and it's interaction with the West throughout the last 1400 years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by S. Matthews
4.0 out of 5 stars We need more of these kind of stories
The first chapters of this book tell a familiar story, about the origins of the Islam, the development of the religion, the place Muhammed has in the story, the struggle between... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Harm Hilvers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
A must read for anyone interested to learn more about world history, very well written. I am now starting to read it for a second time!
Published 5 months ago by plateau
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Thorougly gripping account of world history with a focus on the neglected; the non-Western account.

Fairly objective and extremely broad, which is its strength. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jasim
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning someone else's story
We are good at seeing the world though our own eyes, through our own traditions. And we tend to assume that our perspective is the truth, when it is actually only our understanding... Read more
Published 7 months ago by B. Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars Islamic History in Global Context
Definitely recommend it, if you are interested to know the impact of Islam in world history. Easy to read and clearly explained. A Great piece of work!
Published 13 months ago by Mahamud Rashed Jahan
5.0 out of 5 stars really liked it
I did not know much of history about the east but this book was really easy to read and to understand.
Published 15 months ago by Sana Essid
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