This succinct volume is one of the most satisfying of the many introductory books on Islam. It is rich in facts, which are thoroughly set in the context of Muslim and western viewpoints. The graphic presentation uses abundant, carefully captioned photographs and historical art reproductions, topical sidebars and 60 pages of country statistics and 15 pages of chronology! This book is done in Dorling-Kindersley's signature style, designed to serve the contemporary reader-in-a-hurry.
It works well for author Lunde, himself a scholar of East-West history, versed in classical Arabic texts as well as in those of the West. He presents facts as a means to understanding of history's flow, and his passion for the broad view is matched by his compassion for the newcomer to the sujbect. You will not fine here any dull litany of unpronounceable names. Always aware of Islamic history's countless connections with the West, Lunde presents the subject with its full due of vitality and relevance. Chapters cover the present-day relationships among Islamic and western cultures, the history of the faith, and empire-by-empire history of Islamic politics, arts and sciences, and the varied experiences of modernity.
Teachers/Librarians: 7th grade to adult - Social Studies. If you have room for only one reference work on Islam, make it this one!!