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The Assassins is a comprehensive, readable, and authoritative account of history's first terrorists. An offshoot of the Ismaili Shi'ite sect of Islam, the Assassins were the first group to make systematic use of murder as a political weapon. Established in Iran and Syria in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, they aimed to overthrow the existing Sunni order in Islam and replace it with their own. They terrorized their foes with a series of dramatic murders of Islamic leaders, as well as of some of the Crusaders, who brought their name and fame back to Europe.Professor Lewis traces the history of this radical group, studying its teachings and its influence on Muslim thought. Particularly insightful in light of the rise of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and in Israel, this account of the Assassins--whose name is now synonymous with politically motivated murderers--places recent events in historical perspective and sheds new light on the fanatic mind.
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This had a press date of 2 May. Bernard did a big interview with the SUNDAY TIMES NEWS REVIEW section which ran on 5 May and we have had some good reviewcoverage with reviews still coming in: ''WHAT WENT WRONG? is a masterly, engaging account of its (the Islamic state) steady decline and clashes with modernity.'Stephen Grey, THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the current problems in the Middle East should start by reading this book, written by a great scholar whose respect for a once-great civilisation is as clear as his cool-headed analysis of what it has become today.'Ian Buruma, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'authoritative book'Akbar Ahmed,THE GUARDIAN 'bold lines of discussion and masterly perspective'Anton La Guardian, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'the book is a great pleasure to read because of the breadth of Lewis's knowledge, his ability to summon up the illuminating quotation, his familiarity with unsual byways of historical investigation, and, of course, the delightful fluency of his pen.'ME Yapp, LITERARY REVIEW 'Few contemporary scholars of Islamic culture and history can match the erudition and insight of Lewis. In this work he offers a learned and absorbing explanation of the reasonsfor the rather sad state in which the Muslim world finds itself today despite all the achievements and glory that Islam enjoyed in medieval times. And a very compelling explanation it is too'.COMMONWEALTH LAWYERS ASSOCIATION 2002 The book was also selected by John Gross in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH for his summeBook Description:
Why the Islamic world has been losing the conflict with the West for 300 years - and the frustration and humiliation this has produced
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