Synopses & Reviews
Known as the Yom Kippur War to the Iraelis, the October War to the Arabs, and the War of 1973 to the rest of the world, on the morning of October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise attack on Israeli forces. It was the morning of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement: schools and businesses were closed, the army was on leave, the government was shut down, and Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat had brought Arab armies to the gates of Israel. When Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal on that October day and drove the Israelis back while Syria attacked simultaneously from the East, the image of invincibility that Israel had projected since its overwhelming triumph in the previous war six years earlier was shattered. The War may have ended in a military defeat that required intervention to save Egypt's army from annihilation, but it was a crucial psychological victory, giving Sadat the power to negotiate an honorable peace. An answer to the infamous Arab-Israeli stalemate of 1967, the fighting that ensued would alter the geopolitical landscape of the world. In response to Israeli losses and encouraged by Soviet support of Egypt and Syria, the United States, after much deliberation, decided to intervene on behalf of Israel, further entrenching diplomatic and political lines. As a journalist, author Thomas W. Lippman was a first-hand witness to the watershed incidents, but only now, after the passage of time and the long-delayed release of the State Department's diplomatic files, including a vast pool of materials surrounding the events of 1973 and their aftermath, is Lippman able to assess and present the full after-effects and consequences of the War. Thus, Hero of the Crossing: How Anwar Sadat and His 1973 War Changed the World is neither a biography of Anwar Sadat, nor a detailed account of the War, but an examination of its permanent impact on the world beyond the Middle East.
"An excellent overview of the world's youngest major religion." —Los Angeles Times
A little over thirteen centuries ago, the prophet Muhammad converted a few Arab desert tribes to the belief in a single god, Allah, thus founding the religion of Islam. Within a century, that belief had created one of history's mightiest empires—and today Islam continues to shape events around the globe.
This comprehensive guide offers an informative and insightful introduction to Islam both as a religion and as a political-economic force. It tells the story of Muhammad—and the rise of Islam; outlines the sacred book, the Koran; explains "the five pillars of faith"; explores the interplay between religion and government; describes the differences that divide Islam; and, above all, shows the influence of Islam on world affairs. This second revised edition provides crucial new material on the Islamic community today, including discussion of the Gulf War and the Salman Rushdie affair; the rise and ebb of fundamentalist fervor in Iran, Algeria, and elsewhere; and the relationships among different factions of the Islamic faith. There are also updated descriptions of internal politics in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, and other Islamic nations. Complete with glossary, bibliography. and index, Understanding Islam is engrossing, essential reading for both students and all who seek a clearer understanding of the world in which we live.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 190-192) and index.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basic Beliefs and Practices
Chapter Two: The Prophet Muhammad
Chapter Three: The Koran
Chapter Four: Law and Government in Islam
Chapter Five: The Advance of Islam
Chapter Six: Schism and Mysticism
Chapter Seven: The Islamic Community Today