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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes » User review

A Wonderful Eye-opening Read

  • Mar 13, 2011
Generally, when we in the West think of history, we often think of things in the European / American perspective. The discovery of the US, the Roman Empire the Norman Conquest, the Renaissance etc. are all historical events that only really effect Western society, which has remained relatively separate from the "Middle World" (as labelled in this book) until the 20th Century when two very different civilisations met. Aside from all the history that we can recall, another civilisation was developing, growing and creating its own history.

Managing to condense roughly 2000 years of history into this one book and make it both informative and, at times exciting, is an epic achievement that should make Ansary proud. From the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad right up to 9/11 is a large and fruitful period to try and cover in one book and it is in no way covered in great detail. Some details are offered in only brief snippets, while others are delved into in more detail to offer the reader a greater perspective of the more important and influential events in the period covered.

One of the more interesting elements of the book was the history of Islam itself, from the rise of Muhammad to the formation of the Caliphate, to the splitting of Islam between Sunni & Shi'I and other developments in the religion itself. The overall book offers an eye-opening perspective on a relatively misunderstood and ignored part of history and a people that seem to have appeared out of the blue. A superb read and one I'd highly recommend.

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About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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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 ...
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ISBN-10: 9781586488130
ISBN-13: 978-1586488130
Author: Tamim Ansary
Publisher: PublicAffairs

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