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Islamic Imperialism: A History by Efraim…
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Islamic Imperialism: A History

by Efraim Karsh

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Very interesting book. Couple of key bits of information. Islam was movement that conquered many people and lands. Even plundering into Italy and Spain. The crusades were a reaction to some degree to the violent spread of Islam.

Two, the view of the crusades as a scar in the Islamic/Middle Eastern memory is a modern idea that was created when the Ottoman Empire was under pressure from Europe as they propped her up for years until she sided with Germany and was defeated and split up in the aftermath of WWI. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
This is the first non fiction book I have read for pleasure in a very long time. I am interested in history and politics, and due to my mother being born in Cairo I am particularly interested in the Middle East. As a Christian I am also interested in Islam as I was not taught other religions at school. So, enough about me, what about the book? I thought it was excellent, mainly because it was written like a thesis with plenty of references that you could look up if you chose to. The book is essentially a history of Islam from the beginning to the present day. It is also about the effect of Islam on the Middle East and how the religion has been used by many for political reasons. This misuse is not just something that happened recently, and the author explains that the many complicated problems in the region stem from the imperialist dream of an Islamic state that originated in biblical times and still persist today. Unfortunately, the Arabs and the Arabic nations that were supposed to embrace this religious state only saw themselves as individual nations and not as an Arabic "whole," and so the dream was never fulfilled. My description here is very basic while the book covers each step in great detail as history is revealed over the generations step by step.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sad when it came to an end. It is a very good source of historical data about the history and the politics of the region, and their effects on the Western World. It also reveals that it is often the Middle Eastern states themselves that dictate the future of the region and not the great powers such as the USA, UK or Russia, who often get the blame. Don't get me wrong, there are no saints here, but there are villains.Although some may suggest that the author is slightly biased in his views, I believe that he has done a fair job in presenting both the Jewish and Islamic viewpoints. This is a very good book and very worth reading. ( )
  dgr2 | Mar 24, 2012 |
NO OF PAGES: 276 SUB CAT I: Islam SUB CAT II: History SUB CAT III: DESCRIPTION: From the first Arab-Islamic Empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams. So argues Efraim Karsh in this highly provocative book. Rejecting the conventional Western interpretation of Middle Eastern history as an offshoot of global power politics, Karsh contends that the region?s experience is the culmination of long-existing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior, and that foremost among these is Islam?s millenarian imperial tradition.
The author explores the history of Islam?s imperialism and the persistence of the Ottoman imperialist dream that outlasted World War I to haunt Islamic and Middle Eastern politics to the present day. September 11 can be seen as simply the latest expression of this dream, and such attacks have little to do with U.S. international behavior or policy in the Middle East, says Karsh. The House of Islam?s war for world mastery is traditional, indeed venerable, and it is a quest that is far from over.NOTES: Purchased from the Amazon Marketplace. SUBTITLE: A History
  BeitHallel | Feb 18, 2011 |
It is a good source for overview information on the history of the Middle East, but I find that the author left out many items of interest. Specifically what about Islam outside of the Middle East? Pakistan, India, Bengal, Indonesia, Philippines, et cetera. Also I did not get a good sense of the changes in the Islamic world post the Crusades? How did the indigenous populations of the Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine & Israel change as a result of the defeat of the Crusaders? Lastly how did the Ottoman Empire stagnate so badly? In the 14th-16th centuries the Ottoman Empire was very technologically and culturally advanced, then what happened? That being said, I enjoyed the book. ( )
  lethalox | Jul 1, 2010 |
Karsh begins by describing the two main interpretive lines that have emerged since 9/11. The first position invokes the clash of civilizations as a motif along the lines of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntingdon; the other postulates an anti-American, pro-Islamic line such as that enunicated by Karen Armstrong and Edward Said. Karsh concludes though that a solution to Islamic imperialism will occur only when Islamists cease acting like Saladins and confine their religious beliefs to the private sphere.

"Contrary to the conventional wisdom, it is the Middle East where the institution of empire not only originated (for example, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Iran, and so on) but where its spirit has also outlived its European counterpart. . . . The birth of Islam, by contrast [to Christianity], was inextricably linked with the creation of a world empire and its universalism was inherently imperialist. It did not distinguish between temporal and religious powers, which were combined in the person of Muhammed, who derived his authority directly from Allah and acted at one and the same time as head of the state and head of the church. This allowed the prophet to cloak his political ambitions with a religious aura and to channel Islam's energies into `its instrument of aggressive expansion, there [being] no internal organism of equal force to counterbalance it'" (pp. 2, 6).
1 vote gmicksmith | Jul 27, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300106033, Hardcover)

From the first Arab-Islamic Empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams. So argues Efraim Karsh in this highly provocative book. Rejecting the conventional Western interpretation of Middle Eastern history as an offshoot of global power politics, Karsh contends that the region’s experience is the culmination of long-existing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior, and that foremost among these is Islam’s millenarian imperial tradition.
The author explores the history of Islam’s imperialism and the persistence of the Ottoman imperialist dream that outlasted World War I to haunt Islamic and Middle Eastern politics to the present day. September 11 can be seen as simply the latest expression of this dream, and such attacks have little to do with U.S. international behavior or policy in the Middle East, says Karsh. The House of Islam’s war for world mastery is traditional, indeed venerable, and it is a quest that is far from over.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:27 -0400)

Efriam Karsh argues that the story of the Middle East has been about the rise and fall of universal empires and imperialist dreams. He contends that the region's experience is the culmination of long-existing indigenous trends, passions and patterns of behaviour.… (more)

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300106033, 0300122632

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