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Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders

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Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"Spellberg, a professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas, Austin, presents for the reader a comprehensive survey of attitudes toward Islam in Europe and America in the 17th and 18th centuries, detailing Thomas Jefferson's vision of a religiously pluralist society and his positive answer to the question of whether a Muslim could be a full citizen of the new United States. The book's focus is often undecided, though, as it wanders away from Jefferson to explore prominent early political figures such as John Adams and John Leland, and even the question of Islam among African-American slaves; it doesn't provide enough in-depth material on other founders to fully justify the subtitle or turn the main spotlight from Jefferson himself. In its stronger moments, the book explores some fascinating topics relevant to the modern political landscape, such as the First Barbary War, and accusations by Jefferson's political opponents that he was a secret Muslim, and makes a convincing case that Muslims have always served as the Other in American discourse. In its weaker moments, however, its dry tone and dense lists of facts, often without full context or analysis, will make it more appealing to academics with a specialty in the subject than to the lay reader. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Denise A. Spellberg is a graduate of Smith College and received her PhD in Middle Eastern History from Columbia University. In 2009, she was awarded a nationally-competitive Carnegie Scholarship to support the completion of this book. A specialist in early Islamic history and religion as well as Islam in Europe and America, she is the author of Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha bint Abi Bakr (Columbia University.) She is currently an associate professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307268228
Author:
Spellberg, Denise A.
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
US History-General
Publication Date:
20131031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
11 PHOTOS IN TEXT
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.6 x 1.3 in 1.65 lb

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History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Islam » History
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Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders New Hardcover
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Product details 416 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307268228 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Spellberg, a professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas, Austin, presents for the reader a comprehensive survey of attitudes toward Islam in Europe and America in the 17th and 18th centuries, detailing Thomas Jefferson's vision of a religiously pluralist society and his positive answer to the question of whether a Muslim could be a full citizen of the new United States. The book's focus is often undecided, though, as it wanders away from Jefferson to explore prominent early political figures such as John Adams and John Leland, and even the question of Islam among African-American slaves; it doesn't provide enough in-depth material on other founders to fully justify the subtitle or turn the main spotlight from Jefferson himself. In its stronger moments, the book explores some fascinating topics relevant to the modern political landscape, such as the First Barbary War, and accusations by Jefferson's political opponents that he was a secret Muslim, and makes a convincing case that Muslims have always served as the Other in American discourse. In its weaker moments, however, its dry tone and dense lists of facts, often without full context or analysis, will make it more appealing to academics with a specialty in the subject than to the lay reader. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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