Disordered World by Amin Maalouf
Setting a New Course for the Twenty-first Century

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Synopsis

Born into a Christian minority in Lebanon and since settled in France, acclaimed writer Amin Maalouf claims a unique position in global conversation. His first book, The Crusades through Arab Eyes, was a critical and commercial success and remains in print after 20 years. In Disordered World, Maalouf combines his command of history with a critical perspective on contemporary culture East and West-joining them with a fierce moral clarity and a fluid, propulsive style. In this "disordered world" of ours, Maalouf argues, the human race faces any number of urgent threats: climate change, global financial crisis, humanitarian disasters. Yet these threats have not united us. In fact, tensions are rising between the Arab world and the West. This is not, Maalouf maintains, a "clash of civilizations." We lack ideological debate because there seems to be no common ground on which to start discussion. Rather, our civilizations are exhausted, declined into moral incompetence. The West has betrayed its enlightenment values, even as it pushes democracy abroad. The Arab world, nostalgic for its golden era, has rushed toward radicalism. Maalouf eruditely examines a century of confrontations between our cultures, from the secularization of Turkey under Ataturk, through Nasser and the Suez Crisis, the Six Day War, the Camp David Accords and the assassination of Sadat, and the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. We keep adapting, Maalouf argues, our ancestral prejudices for contemporary scenarios. But in a voice that is intelligent, impassioned, and remarkably hopeful, Maalouf imagines that in the face of common challenges, we might just invent a new conception of the world we all share.
 

About Amin Maalouf

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Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut to a Christian family. He worked as an international reporter before the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975 and he relocated to Paris. Maalouf's novels and book-length essays have been translated into nearly forty languages, and he has also written four opera librettos. His awards include the Prix Goncourt for his 1993 novel The Rock of Tanios and Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in 2010.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 289 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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He presents two visions of the world's future: one in which humanity is divided into tribes that detest one another but share a bland global culture, and another in which humanity is united around common values but continues to develop rich, diverse expressions of culture.

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The Guardian

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Where the text of the book is very gloomy about the prospects for the reordering of the world in this century, the introduction introduces a wholly different thesis – that hope has been buried deep in the Arab mind and "the desire for life and preference for non-violent action were to remain a de...

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Disordered World: Setting a N...

Publishers Weekly

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A Lebanese Christian now living in Paris, Maalouf (The Rock of Tanios) writes, "We have embarked on a new century without a compass," and his polemic breezes over a grab bag of topics, from the idea of political legitimacy to Nasser, the catastrophe of the Six-Day War to the wars in Iraq and Afgh...

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Disordered World: Setting a N...

The Daily Beast

Beginning in the early 20th century, westernized intellectuals, historians, and political activists from the Levant came to serve as ambassadors of the Arab world, explaining to Westerners the finer points of Arab culture and the Muslim religion, lobbying for Arab political causes, and even defen...

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Disordered World: Setting a N...

Artswrap

In this brilliant exploration of the post-9/11 world, leading Lebanese novelist and intellectual Amin Maalouf sets out to understand how we have arrived at such disorder.

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Dabbler

‘We seem to have lost any sense of what it is to be human’…Elberry reviews Lebanese intellectual Amin Maalouf’s exploration of the post-9/11 world… In general, I try to avoid knowing anything about politics, foreign affairs, or the world;

Jan 09 2013 | Read Full Review of Disordered World: Setting a N...

http://bookmarksmagazine.com

In Disordered World, Maalouf combines his command of history with a critical perspective on contemporary culture, East and West-joining them with a fierce moral clarity and a propulsive style.Examining tensions between the Arab and Western worlds, Maalouf sees something beyond a "cl...

Jan 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Disordered World: Setting a N...

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