Saturday, May 07, 2011

Book: Tamim Ansary's "Destiny Disrupted"


My last read before I leave the country for a while was Tamim Ansary's "Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes."  It was kind of timely with me finishing the book during all the death of Osama bin Laden hoopla.

I chose this book because I realized I knew very little about the Muslim world and their history.  With 9/11, Afghanistan  Iraq, and all the other Middle East turmoil of the last ten years, shame on me for not reading up on it sooner.  Ansary, born in Afghanistan and living in the United States, wanted to write a history of the world that was not interpreted through a western perspective.  I have to admit that most of my history is very Euro-American-centric and this book broadened my views.  He wrote in an imminently accessible and even-handed way which came across as fair and balanced (Not Faux news fair and balanced but actually fair and balanced).

Ansary's style is what I would call laid back and not stuck in academic language.  The book reads more like a novel than a history book.  It almost sounds like your sitting in his living room and he's telling you the story of the Muslim world.  It covers the history from the life of Mohammed up to 2009 when the book was published.  It felt though while not too in depth, if you know what I mean.  It didn't get bogged down my minutiae.

Highly recommended.  You may learn something.

One more thought.  Ansary is an Afghan living in Texas writing high school history books.  Do you think a Muslim would get that job today in Texas?  I wonder.

2 comments:

  1. Going above and beyond what the television has taught you about Muslim history? That's not the 'Merican way... ;)

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  2. GH: I read that "the Mexican way" - Lol

    Everyone should question authority and educate themselves.

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