Cascoly Books: Bernard Lewis

Cascoly Books - Bernard Lewis

The Middle East - A brief History of the Last 2,000 Years - Bernard Lewis- an excellent survey of history and analysis of its current implications. To gain a better understanding of contemporary Middle Eastern culture and society, which is steeped in tradition, one should look closely at its history. Bernard Lewis, Professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East, spans 2000 years of this region's history, searching in the past for answers to questions that will inevitably arise in the future.

Lewis chronologically traces the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the Middle East, from Hellenization in antiquity through the impact of westernization on Islamic culture, drawing on information from a variety of sources, including the work of archaeologists and intellectuals. This informative tale discusses the historical recurrences in the Middle East and was written after much investigation.Lewis looks at the ability of this region to come together and resolve its issues, from the earliest conflicts to the present-day territorial and religious disputes between the Arabs and the Israelis, and wonders if, in the future, these unresolved conflicts will ultimately lead to the ethnic and cultural factionalism that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.

Lewis, a renowned Middle East historian, has penned a 2000-year history of an area spanning from Libya to Central Asia. He ends by discussing the consequences of the Gulf War and the opening of talks between the PLO and the Israeli government. Lewis aims to shed light on the linkages between the ancient Middle East and the contemporary region by beginning his history before the advent of Christianity and Islam. He discusses the histories of Sasanid Persia and the two great empires of pre-Islamic era. The emergence of the Prophet Muhammad and the establishment of the Islamic state took place against the backdrop of these organizations.

The Emergence of Modern Turkey - Bernard LewisThe Rise of Modern Turkey, authored by eminent academic Bernard Lewis, has become the go-to one-volume history of contemporary Turkey. It covers the history of Turkey over a period of two centuries, starting with the decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire and ending in the present. In a new chapter, Lewis talks about how his book came to be during the Cold War and what has happened since it was first published in 1961. Notwithstanding internal opposition from neutralists and Islamic fundamentalists, this revised version discusses Turkey's rise as a distinctly Western-oriented power.It looks at topics like Turkey's application to join the EU and NATO, as well as its engagement in Middle Eastern politics. The Rise of Modern Turkey is still the go-to book on the history of contemporary Turkey because it is authoritative and informative.
Islam and the West - Bernard Lewis Bernard Lewis' book Islam and the West collects eleven pieces that do, in fact, open doors to the most inward reaches of Islam. Lewis covers a wide range of topics in these essays. He writes both lengthy pieces, like his concise history of the interactions between Europe and its Islamic neighbors in war and peace, in trade, and in culture, as well as shorter ones, like his skillful analysis of the Arabic word watan and what its linguistic history tells us about the West's introduction of the concept of patriotism. In Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Lewis takes a fascinating look at Edward Gibbon's portrayal of Muhammad (unlike earlier authors, Gibbon did not view the development of Islam as an isolated phenomenon or a regrettable aberration).He provides a critical assessment of the contentious book Orientalism by Edward Said and details the difficulties encountered while translating classical Arabic into other languages (the old dictionaries, for one, are packed with scribal errors, misreadings, false analogies, and etymological deductions that pay little attention to the evolution of the language). Finally, he offers a perceptive analysis of the current state of Islam, looking at revivalism, fundamentalism, the role of the Shi'a, and the more general issue of religious coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Islam and the West is a peerless resource for the historical context of current Middle East conflicts, offering the wise observations of a renowned expert on one of the world's most fascinating and poorly understood places.

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