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In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Landsby Martin Gilbert
Synopses & Reviews
In this book, Israeli anthropologist Andrandeacute; Levy returns to his birthplace in Casablanca to provide a deeply nuanced and compelling study of the relationships between Moroccan Jews and Muslims there. Ranging over a century of historyandmdash;from the Jewish Enlightenment and the impending colonialism of the late nineteenth century to todayandrsquo;s modern Arab stateandmdash;Levy paints a rich portrait of two communities pressed together, of the tremendous mobility that has characterized the past century, and of the paradoxes that complicate the cultural identities of the present. and#160;
Levy visits a host of sites and historical figures to assemble a compelling history of social change, while seamlessly interweaving his study with personal accounts of his returns to his homeland. Central to this story is the massive migration of Jews out of Morocco. Levy traces the institutional and social changes such migrations cause for those who choose to stay, introducing the concept of andldquo;contractionandrdquo; to depict the way Jews deal with the ramifications of their demographic dwindling. Turning his attention outward from Morocco, he goes on to explore the greater complexities of the Jewish diaspora and the essential paradox at the heart of his adventureandmdash;leaving Israel to return home.and#160;
In this remarkable work by seasoned scholar Lawrence Rosen, we follow the fascinating intellectual developments of four ordinary Moroccans over the span of forty years. Walking and talking with Haj Hamed Britel, Yaghnik Driss, Hussein Qadir, and Shimon Benizriandmdash;in a country that, in a little over a century, has gone from an underdeveloped colonial outpost to a modern Arab country in the throes of economic growth and religious fervorandmdash;Rosen details a fascinating plurality of viewpoints on culture, history, and the ways both can be dramatically transformed.
Through the intellectual lives of these four men, this book explores a number of interpretative and theoretical issues that have made Arab culture distinct, especially in relationship to the West: how nothing is ever hard and fast, how everything is relational and always a product of negotiation. It showcases the vitality of the local in a global era, and it contrasts Arab notions of time, equality, and self with those in the West. Likewise, Rosen unveils his own entanglement in their world and the drive to keep the analysis of culture first and foremost, even as his own life enmeshes itself in those of his study. An exploration of faith, politics, history, and memory, this book highlights the world of everyday life in Arab society in ways that challenge common notions and stereotypes.and#160;
From one of the most popular historians writing today comes a book as fascinating as the bestsellers of Karen Armstrong and Reza Aslan.
In this captivating chronicle, Martin Gilbert shines new light on a controversial dilemma in the modern world: the troubled relationship between Jews and Muslims. Beginning at the dawn of Islam and sweeping from the Atlantic Ocean to the mountains of Afghanistan, Gilbert presents the first popular and authoritative history of Jewish peoples under Muslim rule. He confronts with wisdom and compassion the stormy events in their dramatic story, including anti-Zionist movements and the forced exodus to Israel. He also gives special attention to the twentieth century and to the current political debate about refugee status and restitution.
Throughout, Gilbert weaves a compelling narrative of perseverance, struggle, and renewal marked by surprising moments of tolerance and partnership. A monumental and timely book, Jews under Muslim Rule is a crowning achievement that confirms Martin Gilbert as one of the foremost historians of our time.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sir Martin Gilbert is the author of more than eighty books, including the six-volume authorized biography of Winston Churchill.
Table of Contents
Prologue: A World of Difference
Committed to Memory: Haj Hamed Britel 235 Qla?a
A Midmost Nation: Yaghnik Driss
Courier of the Horizons: Hussein ou Muhammad Qadir
A Nation among Nations: Shimon Benizri
Epilogue: Making a Difference
Suggestions for Further Reading
What Our Readers Are Saying
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies