What Went Wrong?

What Went Wrong?

Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response

Book - 2002
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For many centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement--the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe, a remote land beyond its northwestern frontier, was seen as an outer darkness ofbarbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first in the battlefield and the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life.In this intriguing volume, Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed--how they had been overtaken, overshadowed, and to an increasing extent dominated by the West. Lewis provides a fascinating portrait of a culture inturmoil. He shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry and military tactics, commerce and industry, government and diplomacy, education and culture. Lewis highlights the striking differences between the Western and Middle Eastern cultures from the 18th to the20th centuries through thought-provoking comparisons of such things as Christianity and Islam, music and the arts, the position of women, secularism and the civil society, the clock and the calendar.Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis is one of the West's foremost authorities on Islamic history and culture. In this striking volume, he offers an incisive look at the historical relationship between the Middle East and Europe.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002
ISBN: 9780195144208
Branch Call Number: 956 LEW
Characteristics: 180 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm


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Feb 19, 2019

Author Bernard Lewis, now deceased, brings impeccable credentials as an British American orientalist to the task. His book is small and brief, easily overlooked: perhaps it is not important or significant enough. Such a conclusion would be very false.
“What Went Wrong...” starts with a tour de force of the history of the Middle East from the beginnings of Islam with the birth of Mohammed to the meeting of the West with Islam in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Only after liming these historical underpinnings is Lewis prepared to explore his question, what went wrong. And implicit in this is the further question, what must be done to right the wrong?
In spite of Professor Lewis’s obvious erudition, tremendous knowledge of and insight into the picture of this increasingly important part of the world, he has none the less produced a very readable and insightful work about the larger events that have been at work in this part of the world that have made it into such a conflicted region.
If you wish to get an insight into what is going on in this part of the world, then this book must be night on your reading list.

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