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The Assassins is a comprehensive, readable, and authoritative account of history's first terrorists. An offshoot of the Ismaili Shi'ite sect of Islam, the Assassins were the first group to make systematic use of murder as a political weapon. Established in Iran and Syria in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, they aimed to overthrow the existing Sunni order in Islam and replace it with their own. They terrorized their foes with a series of dramatic murders of Islamic leaders, as well as of some of the Crusaders, who brought their name and fame back to Europe.Professor Lewis traces the history of this radical group, studying its teachings and its influence on Muslim thought. Particularly insightful in light of the rise of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and in Israel, this account of the Assassins--whose name is now synonymous with politically motivated murderers--places recent events in historical perspective and sheds new light on the fanatic mind.
President Bush has made it clear that we are engaged in a war against terrorism. But for Usama bin Laden and his followers this is religious war, a war for Islam against infidels, especially the United States, the greatest power in the world of the infidels. In this book Bernard Lewis shows us where the anger and frustration have come from, and the extent to which almost the entire Muslim world is affected by poverty and tyranny. He looks at the influence of extreme Wahhabist doctrines in the Saudi kingdom, where custodianship of Islam's holy places and the revenues of oil have given world-wide impact to what would otherwise have been an extremist fringe in a marginal country. He looks at American double standards, which have long caused Muslim anger. He tells us what the real meaning is of Islamic fundamentalism', jihad' and fatwa', and why the peoples of the Middle East are conscious of history in a way that most Americans find difficult to understand.
Essays which discuss middle eastern current events and history by a renouned schollar in the field.
In a sweeping and vivid survey, renowned historian Bernard Lewis charts the history of the Middle East over the last 2,000 years, from the birth of Christianity through the modern era, focusing on the successive transformations that have shaped it. Elegantly sritten, scholarly yet accessible, The Middle East is the most comprehensive single volume history of the region ever written from the world's foremost authority on the Middle East.
Harris (political science, U. of Otago, New Zealand) outlines the history of the eastern Mediterranean littoral now occupied by Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. After setting out its strategic geography, he narrates the periods of Rome, Islam, Byzantium, crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans. Then he discusses the 20th century. He includes a glossary without pronunciation guides. Only names are indexed. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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