What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

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9780060516055: What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

For many centuries, Islam was the world's greatest, most open, most enlightened, most creative, most powerful civilisation. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and in the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life. Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed, and he provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. Some Middle Easterners asked not who did this to us?' but where did we go wrong?'; while others fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, both internal and external - and the results are very much with us today.

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Product Description:

Why did the most advanced civilization in the world lose its power and fall under the domination of others? This book examines how Middle Easterners responded to Western challenges in war, technology, sciences, religion, gender relations and other areas between the 18th and 20th centuries. It reviews the different ways in which the question of what went wrong has been formulated, the various diagnoses of what ails the Middle East, and the prescriptions for its cure.

Review:

"Arguably the West's most distinguished scholar on the Middle East."--Newsweek"Lewis has done us all--Muslim and non-Muslim alike--a remarkable service.... The book's great strength, and its claim upon our attention, [is that] it offers a long view in the midst of so much short-term and confusing punditry on television, in the op-ed pages, on campuses and in strategic studies think tanks." --Paul Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review"When it comes to Islamic studies, Bernard Lewis is the father of us all. With brilliance, integrity, and extraordinary mastery of languages and sources, he has led the way for Jewish and Christian investigators seeking to understand the Muslim world."--National Review"A timely and provocative contribution to the current raging debate about the tensions between the West and the Islamic world.... One wishes leaders in the Islamic world would pay heed to some of Lewis' themes." --Stanley Reed, Business Week"A sobering picture, delivered with persuasive detail and respect. Bernard Lewis comes not to bury Islam, but to praise what it once was--and might be again."--Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer"Lucidly argued and richly supported by telling quotations.... Lewis is a persuasive chronicler of Muslim resistance to change and modernity."--Robert Irwin, Washington Post Book World"An accessible and excitingly knowledgeable antidote to today's natural sense of befuddlement." --Michael Pakenham, Baltimore Sun"Replete with the exceptional historical insight that one has come to expect from the world's foremost Islamic scholar." --Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal"A provocative and suggestive review of Islamic response to ideas and practices of the Christian West.... Lewis has given us a thoughtful treatment of the historical backdrop of the Sept. 11 tragedy." --Fritz Lanham, Houston Chronicle"A compelling book. One of our most distinguished historians throws a floodlight on that cruel divide between the West and the societies of Islam. Learned and urgent at the same time." --Fouad Ajami, The Johns Hopkins University

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