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Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 May 2009


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433272261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433272264
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 13.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,743,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tamim Ansary is the author of the memoir West of Kabul, East of New York, co-author with Farah Ahmadi of the New York Times bestseller The Other Side of the Sky, and has been a major contributing writer to several secondary school history textbooks. Ansary is director of the San Francisco Writers Workshop.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter R TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Dec. 2010
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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Pardo VINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2010
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gtj Charmley VINE VOICE on 23 April 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book has an avowed purpose; in the introduction, author Tamim Ansary admits that one of the reasons for the book is the questions raised by 9/11. This made me a little wary of the book, wondering if the old 'Muslim as victim' routine was about to be played out. Or, equally off-putting, whether the alternative 'West=barbarians' narrative, concentrating almost morbidly on the Crusades was to be put. On reading the book, I was glad to discover that the answer is 'none of the above'. The book is a well-written and sympathetic, often amusing narrative history of the Islamic world, from the times of the Prophet Mohammed to the present day, tracing the growth and development of the core Islamic world. Of course, it is rather surface-level; the point is that it is an introduction, written by a Muslim brought up in Afghanistan. While the achievements of Islam are trumpeted, there is an honest analysis of its failings, especially in the field of technology. The description of Western colonialism's impact on Islam is fairer and more balanced than some of the statements which have emanated from even Westerners, especially the admission that much of this was due to internal difficulties, rather than expernal factors.

Of course, the book is not academic, and some of the statements are open to question; for example, is not one reason why Byzantium does not loom as large on the historical stage as its longevity would imply it ought due to the fact that as a state it ceased to exist? History is written by the winners, and Byzantium is one of history's losers. But the complaints are largely minor, and the book so well-written that they can be forgiven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE on 11 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Subtitled "A History of the World through Islamic Eyes", this provides a fascinating counterweight to the Anglocentric view of history which we get from school and TV history series. Beginning with Mohammed and ending at 9/11 (with an "afterword" bringing it up-to-date and drawing conclusions), this is history as it would be understood in the countries of the Middle East and beyond. Events and persons central to our own history are touched upon only insofar as they are relevant to the author's aim. Thus, Hitler and Stalin are completely missing from the index, while Churchill gets just a single mention, in connection with the activities of British Petroleum in Iran in the 1920s. The Second World War is referred to as the "European Civil War". The author, an Afghan now living in the United States, is very fair in his assessments; the book is most certainly no Islamic tract, and he is unsparing in his criticism of where factions within Islam have gone wrong. His most trenchant criticisms seem to be of European imperialism, and some readers may be surprised at the extent of British involvement in the Middle East 100 years ago and more; did you know, for example, that Iraq is a totally artificial construct, created by Britain which also imposed one of its clients as king, whose older brother then had to be made king of another artificially-created state, Jordan?
The book is written in an informal, even jokey, style, so it is not your typical history textbook. It will go on my bookshelf next to a "History of the World", and when I want to look up some historical event I shall consult both volumes.
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