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What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
What Went Wrong The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East Author:Bernard Lewis For 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 was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed. The West... more » won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and then in the marketplace.
In this elegantly written volume, Bernard Lewis, a renowned authority an Islamic affairs, examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to make sense of how it had been overtaken, overshadowed, and dominated by the West. In a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil, Lewis shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry, industry, government, education, and culture. He also describes how some Middle Easterners fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, while others asked not "Who did this to us?" but rather "Where did we go wrong?"
With a new Afterword that addresses September 11 and its aftermath, What Went Wrong? is an urgent, accessible book that no one who is concerned with contemporary affairs will want to miss.« less
Kathleen K. (kk2706) reviewed What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East on
Helpful Score: 2
This book is a quick read; it examines the long history of relations between the Middle East and the West. It was written before 9/11, but that makes it all the more insightful. It describes some of the fundimental differences between Christain and Muslim outlooks regarding religion and society, and why they are so. Most people will learn a lot by reading this book.
I kept waiting for him to answer the question - What Went Wrong? He makes some interesting points, but doesn't really reach a conclusion. Also, some maps of the areas he was talking about would have been useful.