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Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes Paperback – Apr 27 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Reprint edition (April 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586488139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586488130
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.4 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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)</I>, 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.”

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“This is a story, not a textbook nor a scholarly thesis. My aim is to convey what Muslims THINK happened.”

Keep this in mind while reading the book. He tells a great story, with a knack for distilling the important meaning from complex historical events. Is the story true? Simplification can’t help but distort the truth. In one area I know reasonably well, the Crusades, I found at least two errors. But even there he gets the story essentially right. I guess the idea is follow the story, but don’t sweat the details.

The author was born in Afghanistan with a self-described secular outlook before moving to the United States. He was well integrated into Western culture before he became more interested in Islam. Perhaps this gives him an ideal perspective. His book explores the core values of Islam based on its history. Individual Muslims may interpret their religion in many different ways, but the “true”, meaning fundamentalist, version based on these core values has a way of constantly reasserting itself. For example, Muslims immigrate to the West looking for a peaceful place to raise their family, then their children run off and join the Islamic State.

The Destiny That Was Disrupted
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The destiny that was disrupted is, of course, was Islam’s constant expansion. Reminders of that are frequent and explicit, for example:

“Movements to revive Islam could not be extricated from the need to resurrect Muslim power. Reformers could not merely offer proposals for achieving more authentic religious experiences.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had borrowed this book from the library, and decided to purchase my own copy so I could read it aloud to my wife.

The story of the Muslim world was one that I was only very dimly aware of. The story of the Middle World from the time of Mohammed until the present is a very complex one. Ansary manages not only to untangle all the threads, but to do it in a way that is as compelling as novel.

It was very interesting to see what I thought I knew European history reinterpreted from an Islamic perspective.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well-written book which broadens the perspective of those of us who have grown up immersed in world history as taught from the Western perspective. A must read for those who want to better understand current events in the Muslim world or conflicts in which Islamic groups are involved.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good overview on a long history, unfortunately there are errors with regards to events in Iran, for example attributing Tobacco Boycott to Jamaludin Asadabadi, which is not correct and it was Mirzai Shirazi who lead the tobacco boycott
Also the terror of Naseredin Shah was instigated by Jamaludin Asadabadi, and was carried out by Mirzai Kermani
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A very well-written book that doesn't go into the details and yet tells you so much about the subject. Must read.
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