Synopses & Reviews
We in the west share a common narrative of world historythat runs from the Nile Valley and Mesopotomia, through Greece and Rome and the French Revolution, to the rise of the secular state and the triumph of democracy. But our story largely omits a whole civilization that until quite recently saw itself at the center of world history, and whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years.
In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europea place it long perceived as primitive and disorganizedhad somehow hijacked destiny. Entertaining and enlightening, Destiny Disrupted also offers a vital perspective on current conflicts.
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret)
"Tamim Ansary has written a truely superb history of the Islamic world. His excellent analysis provides the reader with an insightful understanding of how that world and its people were shaped by events. This is a must read for all those who want to understand the evolution of a significant global society and how it has interacted with the rest of the worl
Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
“Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read.”
“A lively, thorough and accessible survey of the history of Islam (both the religion and its political dimension) that explores many of the disconnects between Islam and the West.”
San Francisco Chronicle
"A must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Islamic world. But the book is more than just a litany of past events. It is also an indispensable guide to understanding the political debates and conflicts of today, from 9/11 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Somali pirates to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. As Ansary writes in his conclusion, "The conflict wracking the modern world is not, I think, best understood as a 'clash of civilizations.' ... It's better understood as the friction generated by two mismatched world histories intersecting."
“Never apologist in tone, meticulously researched and balanced, often amusing but never glib, Destiny Disrupted is ultimately a gripping drama that pulls the reader into great, seminal events of world history, a book which offers a wealth of knowledge and insight to any reader who wants to understand the movements and events behind the modern-day hostilities wracking Western and Islamic societies.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“If you want to put today's headlines about jihadist suicide bombings into the much larger context of history, you'd be well advised to settle in with Destiny Disrupted. It's the story of a civilization that suddenly found itself upended by strangers and now wants to put itself right. And if author Ansary stops short of calling the result a clash of civilizations, he feels free to call it two one-sided views of world history. His book is a valuable tool for opening up a view of the other side.”
A sweeping narrative history by the acclaimed author of West of Kabul, East of New York illuminates how Muslims have seen the history of the worldand what western world history leaves out
About the Author
Tamim Ansary is the author of the memoir West of Kabul, East of New York, co-author with Farah Ahmadi of the New York Times bestseller The Other Side of the Sky, and has been a major contributing writer to several secondary school history textbooks. Ansary is director of the San Francisco Writers Workshop. He writes for Encarta.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Alternet, Edutopia, Parade, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications.
Read the exclusive essays by Tamim Ansary: 2009