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F. S. Harte "jcayyi" (UK)
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Trauma Myth
Trauma Myth
by Susan A. Clancy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.23

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy Listened to Victims, 25 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Trauma Myth (Paperback)
One of the major misconceptions surrounding Clancy's research is actually dealt with in this book - notably, the bogus idea that Clancy, a Harvard educated psychologist, is suggesting child sexual abuse doesn't damage individuals, or even that Clancy is denying abuse is morally abhorent. In fact, Clancy argues - on the basis of extensive interviews with child abuse victims - that the majority of child sexual abuse victims experience *confusion* rather than trauma at the time the abuse is committed - which is one reason why abuse often goes undetected. Crucially, damage may be done in the years that follow, because a variety of factors prevent individuals from seeking support or even confiding in anyone regarding their abuse, but even where victims learn to cope alone, it does not make the abuse in any way less reprehensible. Crucially, her conclusion is that trusted adults must work harder at building relationships with children in which they feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings and experiences, including those that most trouble them, if we are to protect them more effectively.


Destiny Disrupted
Destiny Disrupted
by Tamim Ansary
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Destiny Simplified, 3 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Destiny Disrupted (Paperback)
Destiny Disrupted attempts to squash the entire history of Islam (and it's relationship with Europe/USA) into less than 400 pages of chatty narrative. That's an ambitious project by any measure, and the outcome is analyses that are sometimes sweeping, and a few facts that are just plain wrong - Deobandism is simply not a rebranded Wahhabism! Ansary's tale might function as an accessible introduction for the casual reader, but it should come with a warning on the packet: further reading required, and not to be used in the event of serious academic study.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2011 9:16 PM BST


Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall
Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall
by Spike Milligan
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Spike's best book, 28 Nov 2010
Out of all of Milligan's war memoirs, this one is shaped more like a traditional novel, and is more closely written, building up to a climax which flips the book on its head - Milligan's first period of mental illness, often dated later by Milligan himself and many of his admirers. The juxtaposition of Milligan's personal crisis and the hilarity leading up to it - from the gut-bustingly funny letters written to his family from Italy mocking wartime mail censorship, to the incredible Christmas concert - only serves to hone both sides of this extraordinary book, which in my view is by far Milligan's finest. And if nothing else, you'll find out - as Milligan did - what a basenji is!


Fillets of Plaice
Fillets of Plaice
by Gerald Malcolm Durrell
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: Fillets of Plaice (Paperback)
The late, great conservationalist and zoologist Gerald Durrell encountered many extraordinary animals in his life, and it is our good fortune that some of them were human. And it is also a blessed happenstance that his brother Lawrence was a renowned novelist. Durrell thus writes with effortless vivacity and humour about an assortment of animal-human adventures, from the time he was marooned with his eccentric family on a deserted Mediterranean cove, to the war-gaming old soldier with a secret in his six attics, to the adorable girlfriend who mugged the Queen's English with her every sentence. Enjoy!


The Venture of Islam, Volume 2: The Expansion Of Islam In The Middle Periods: Conscience and History in a World Civilization
The Venture of Islam, Volume 2: The Expansion Of Islam In The Middle Periods: Conscience and History in a World Civilization
by Hodgson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.05

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 19 Oct 2009
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Highly regarded since it was first published in 1975, the second of Hodgson's three volume 'Venture of Islam' series investigates the establishment of an international Islamic civilization during the Middle Period, from 945 to around 1500. Rejecting Eurocentric time frames and interpretations of 'the Islamicate', Hodgon demonstrates how Islam emerged to form a dominant common culture, across expanding ethnically diverse regions that were subject to political fragmentation and later the turmoil of the Mongol invasions.

This is probably the most accessible of the three volume series, notable for its extraordinary analysis and insights into the similarities, differences and relationship between the medieval Occident and the Islamicate in the same era. Hodgson's world history perspective is now firmly established in academia, avoiding inappropriate European concepts in its analysis, such as feudalism, as well as the presumption that European hegemony is the apotheosis of cultural evolution.


Minaret
Minaret
by Leila Aboulela
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.55

3.0 out of 5 stars Competent but dreary, 21 Nov 2008
This review is from: Minaret (Paperback)
Drama in literature often comes about through the exploration of human failings. Sadly, in attempting to provide readers with something 'moral', Aboulela delivers a slow boat narrative of lyrical sanctimony, driven by a heroine who is fundamentally dull. In the end, I simply didn't really care about Najwa, despite her rather tragic life, because she was never going to fall prey to her stupidities or demons in the way the overwhelming majority of humanity do at some point in their lives.


A Confederate General from Big Sur / Dreaming of Babylon / the Hawkline Monster: Three Books in the Manner of Their Original Editions
A Confederate General from Big Sur / Dreaming of Babylon / the Hawkline Monster: Three Books in the Manner of Their Original Editions
by Richard Brautigan
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and funny, 27 Feb 2008
One of the qualities reviewers of Richard Brautigan's beautiful writings seldom mention is the humour. Dreaming of Babylon is possibly one of his funniest works, personfied in such characters as the hopeless day-dreaming detective and the lady who drinks huge amounts of beer without seeming to need the bathroom. Yet Brautigan's surreal wit is never contrived or knowingly clever - this is a warm giggling at the sheer daftness of life, a sensibility perhaps best described as Taoist.


The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Michael Cook
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.55

7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an introduction, 6 Jun 2004
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As a summary of contemporary academic Quranic scholarship, there are few books to compare to this one. Despite a number of contentious standpoints and omissions, Cooks glib tone and dry wit and have won him many admirers, and his doesn't let up even in the face of this most sacred Muslim text.
Yet whatever the books merits or otherwise, Cook does not succeed in providing an introduction that would make sense to people without substantial study experience in either religious or Islamic studies. There is sparce consideration of the actual content of the Qur'an - except to illustrate academic disputes, and allusions to Veda, Confuscius and other sacred texts would simply fly over the head of most non-specialists.


The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam (No Nonsense Guides)
The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam (No Nonsense Guides)
by Merryl Wyn Davies
Edition: Paperback

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accesible and thought-provoking work, 6 Jun 2004
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Despite the progressive stance of the authors, this is more than a liberal introduction to Islam. The Guide takes a historical path, beginning with the Qur'an and the Prophet, and concluding with chapters on reform movements and contemporary issues. The result is an introduction suitable for any student or educated reader with an interest in Islam.
In other hands, such a treatment of Islam would have been unremarkable. What highlights this as a work of distinction is the way it consciously sets itself aside from forces informing popular Muslim understandings of their own history. For example, contemporary Islamic cliches regarding Islam's grand legacy to the West are properly situated in Europe's colonial take-over of the Muslim world, where envy and fear drove the colonial invaders to crush key facets of Islamic learning and culture.
The result is an understanding of the Muslim faith situated in history and contemporary realities, but which never stoops to cheap 'West bashing', instead drawing on analyses from development studies, sociology and politics. Despite the relative brevity of the book - 142 pages - Sardar and Davies seek to clarify rather than simplify a progressive Muslim analyses of Islam. The result is a book likely to appeal to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
For Muslims, this book is worth reading for simply for its final chapter, with its call to reform. The demand that Muslims learn how their values 'are not a seperate order but an integral part of the common concerns of contemporary human dilemmas' is about as potent a summary of progressive Muslim concerns as I have yet heard.
If you are thinking about a book on Islam for non-Muslims new to the faith, or a book for anyone seeking to make sense of the challenges faced by Muslims in 21st century , then this book bests both tasks.


Qur'an Liberation and Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity Against Oppression
Qur'an Liberation and Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity Against Oppression
by Farid Esack
Edition: Paperback
Price: 21.33

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal progressive Muslim work, 1 May 2004
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Part autobiography, part theological treatise, and writing in a tradition of reform that includes Ali Abderraziq, Fazlur Rahman and Abdulkarim Soroush, Esack explores his own role as a Muslim activist in the fight against South African Apartheid, and how the urgent demands of oppression necessitated a search for Qur'anic interpretation that was true to both the nature of Islam and his own experiences as an agent of social change. Esack's ideas have touched a nerve with those Muslims concerned with international social justice, and this work has now become seminal to one of the most vibrant emerging Islamic movements in the 21st century. Despite Salafi and Wahhabi claims to represent the 'true' Islamic faith within contemporary Islamic discourse, Farid's progressive Muslim voice presents a coherent, well argued and deeply humanistic challenge to this presumption.


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