A Short History
sympathetic, and clear" Grade: A-- Entertainment
"A small gem, bristling with insight and sensitive historical
analysis." At the end of the book, Armstrong strongly
urges the West to "cultivate a more accurate appreciation
of Islam." A good place to start might be with Armstrong's
elegant and nuanced history lesson."
- Washington Post
was and remains a powerful factor in the consciousness
of believers, and Armstrong's account of what that faith
required and how its adherents tried to adjust its precepts
to ever-changing circumstances is a valuable corrective
to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in
the English-speaking world-engaging, provocative, and
- The New York
Times Book Review
religion in the modern world is as feared and
misunderstood as Islam; now, in the wake of recent terrorist
attacks, it haunts the popular Western imagination as
an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government,
female oppression, and civil war.
Armstrong's short history offers a vital corrective
to this narrow view. She issues a forceful challenge to those
who hold the belief that the West and Islam are civilizations
set on a collision course.
Her book is a model of authority, elegance, and
KAREN ARMSTRONG, one of
the foremost commentators on religious affairs, is the
best-selling author of A History of God (1993), The
Battle for God (2000), and Buddha (2001), among many others.
Having spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun,
she left her order in 1969 and took a B. Litt. at Oxford,
taught modern literature at the University of London,
and headed the English department of a public girls' school. She became a freelance writer and broadcaster in 1982 and in
1983 worked in the Middle East on a six-part documentary
television series on the life and works of St. Paul.
Her other television work has included "Varieties
of Religious Experience" (1984) and "Tongues
of Fire" (1985); the latter resulted in an anthology
by that name on religious and poetic expression. In 1996 she participated in Bill Moyers'
television series "Genesis." She teaches at the Leo Baeck College for
the Study of Judaism and the Training of Rabbis and Teachers
and was awarded the 1999 Muslim Public Affairs Council
publication date: August 2000
Ericka Muncy (212)
572-2628 Phone(212) 572-4960 Fax