Tamim Ansary

Destiny Disrupted : A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

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<b>The Western narrative of world history largely omits a whole civilization. <i>Destiny Disrupted</i> tells the history of the world from the Islamic point of view, and restores the centrality of the Muslim perspective, ignored for a thousand years.</b> <p></p>In <i>Destiny Disrupted</i>, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from a new perspective: with the evolution of the Muslim community at the center. His story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history, imparting not only what happened but how it is understood from the Muslim perspective. <p></p>He clarifies why two great civilizations-Western and Muslim-grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive-had somehow hijacked destiny. <p></p>With storytelling brio, humor, and evenhanded sympathy to all sides of the story, Ansary illuminates a fascinating parallel to the world narrative usually heard in the West. <i>Destiny Disrupted</i> offers a vital perspective on world conflicts many now find so puzzling. <br />

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The Western narrative of world history largely omits a whole civilization. Destiny Disrupted tells the history of the world from the Islamic point of view, and restores the centrality of the Muslim perspective, ignored for a thousand years.

In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from a new perspective: with the evolution of the Muslim community at the center. His story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history, imparting not only what happened but how it is understood from the Muslim perspective.

He clarifies why two great civilizations-Western and Muslim-grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive-had somehow hijacked destiny.

With storytelling brio, humor, and evenhanded sympathy to all sides of the story, Ansary illuminates a fascinating parallel to the world narrative usually heard in the West. Destiny Disrupted offers a vital perspective on world conflicts many now find so puzzling.
The Western narrative of world history largely omits a whole civilization. Destiny Disrupted tells the history of the world from the Islamic point of view, and restores the centrality of the Muslim perspective, ignored for a thousand years.

In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from a new perspective: with the evolution of the Muslim community at the center. His story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history, imparting not only what happened but how it is understood from the Muslim perspective.

He clarifies why two great civilizations-Western and Muslim-grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive-had somehow hijacked destiny.

With storytelling brio, humor, and evenhanded sympathy to all sides of the story, Ansary illuminates a fascinating parallel to the world narrative usually heard in the West. Destiny Disrupted offers a vital perspective on world conflicts many now find so puzzling.

Specifications

Publisher
PublicAffairs
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
416
Author
Tamim Ansary
Title
Destiny Disrupted
ISBN-13
9781586488130
Publication Date
April, 2010
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.25 x 5.50 x 1.25 Inches
ISBN-10
1586488139

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.3)out of 5 stars
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1-5 of 12 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

It is very readable, a...

It is very readable, and covers history in a manner which I enjoy, where the ideas of the time are treated along with the events. Although I was aware of a lot of the events, the book provides a cohesive view in which Europeans were not the central actors, but more a a blip on the edge until the last couple of centuries.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

5277. Destiny Disrupte...

5277. Destiny Disrupted A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, by Tamim Ansary (read 17 May 2015) I found this book an easy-to-read account of the world as seen through Islamic eyes. The author has a colloquial style which reads smoothly and engagingly. He takes one through world history with a viewpoint very different from what I have encountered all my life, but much of what he says makes sense and i found the book enlightening, though one cannot help but bemoan the fact that so much of the Islamic view is less than helpful to a peaceful world.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

For the non-Arab tryin...

For the non-Arab trying to understand the history of the Middle East I cannot think of a better place to start! The book itself is about 350 pages of actual reading (about 40 pages of the book are notes, bibliography, acknowledgements and index making the book 390 pages). It isn't exactly short but the history in it really is in condensed form. He covers the pre-Islamic Middle World, as he calls it, very briefly and then jumps right into the beginnings of Islam. Even though this text is highly condensed the author manages to give great details about very key figure and events. It's enough to give a reader a very sturdy framework upon which they can continue to build knowledge and fill in information later. Furthermore, he doesn't tell it as dry historical facts but gives a life to the narrative he's telling adding context to everything. He captures the very essensce of what people were feeling and thinking and how they percieved themselves and others. This is something that is often lacking in historical works. Most texts focus heavily on facts alone but fail to give full context in which to place the facts. As a non-Arab Muslim I have done a lot of reading into historical works and trying to place events and people into timelines and places. But this was not the narrative I grew up with. In fact, most of these events and people were never even mentioned in any of the textbooks I ever read. If you received a western education chances are this will be true for you too. What's great about Ansary's approach is that he tells it in an easy to understand way relating occasionally to western events and times that help the reader place what they are reading. I would say this could easily be considered likened to an idiot's guide to the history of the Middle East. If your already familiar with Middle Eastern history (maybe you've read books like A Concise History of the Middle East or something along those lines) you'll still get a lot out of this book and if you know nothing about Middle Eastern history this book will certainly give you a strong foundation. Ansary says in his introduction that "Destiny Disrupted is neither a textbook nor a scholarly thesis. It's more like what I'd tell you if we met in a coffeehouse..." He refers to this work as the story arc of Middle Eastern/Islamic history and that's very much what it is. His writing is fun and accessible. It is a very enjoyable read. He makes some aspects of Islamic history and culture very easy to understand. For example the Sunni and Shi'a split which is something many people do not fully understand. Not only does he explain it in easy to understand terms but he helps fill in what else is happening to the key figures and the thoughts of the ummah at the time. He breaks down understanding things like the main difference between major Shia sects as well as how things like Wahabism came into being. He brings the story right up into the present day ending with an afterword of a post 9/11 world. Anyone familiar with Middle Eastern drama films will find a similarity in the ending of the book as being an unresolved abrupt end. Well... I guess that's to be expected since the Islamic world and Islam in general are in a major state of flux and change right now. Nobody can say where things are going right now for sure but after reading this at least we can understand a little better how we got to where we currently are.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I cannot think of anot...

I cannot think of another book that I have ever read that has taught me as much about the world we live in. When we view objects with both eyes we can see them with more depth and dimensions. In the same manner Tamim Ansary's book presents another vantage point from which to view and examine world history and our understanding of it grows exponentially. As the title says, this is not a history of the Islamic World; it is a history of the entire world, as seem through the eyes of a Muslim. The causes and effects of such events as the Dark Ages, the Crusades, the Great Plague, the Industrial Revolution and the Colonial Age are presented in a stark contrast to what we were taught in Middle School. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. In these turbulent times, it behooves us to be able to understand what drives the thoughts and deeds of those many of us have chosen to consider our enemies.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

[Destiny Disrupted : A...

[Destiny Disrupted : A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes] by Tamim Ansary (c2009, 371 pages, finished March 16, 2010)* I read this as a break while reading [Infinite Jest], as my light book. It is actually light; it's also very readable and entertaining. Ansary writes in the introduction, "Destiny Disrupted is neither a textbook nor a scholarly thesis. It's more like what I'd tell you if we met in a coffeehouse and you said, 'What's all this about a parallel world history?'" This is a history of the world from a "Middle World", or Islamic perspective. Europe, including Rome, becomes peripheral - although it is granted its own chapter (17 pages, covering 1291 -1600). China gets an occasional mention. It's Anasary's response to world histories that essentially disregard the region as peripheral even though it's huge and, over most of history, excluding far-off China, constituted the center of the civilized world. The scale is very broad, covering all recorded history in about 350 pages. Anansary accomplishes this with sweeping summaries leading the many quotable comments. This was a fun book, filled with fascinating information and people I had not heard of before, and with many interesting interpretations. *This "review" was written in April 3, 2010 - and posted here 2.5 years later


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