What Went Wrong? by Bernard Lewis
Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response

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For many centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement--the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe, a remote land beyond its northwestern frontier, was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first in the battlefield and the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life.
In this intriguing volume, Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed--how they had been overtaken, overshadowed, and to an increasing extent dominated by the West. Lewis provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. He shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry and military tactics, commerce and industry, government and diplomacy, education and culture. Lewis highlights the striking differences between the Western and Middle Eastern cultures from the 18th to the 20th centuries through thought-provoking comparisons of such things as Christianity and Islam, music and the arts, the position of women, secularism and the civil society, the clock and the calendar.
Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis is one of the West's foremost authorities on Islamic history and culture. In this striking volume, he offers an incisive look at the historical relationship between the Middle East and Europe.

About Bernard Lewis

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Bernard Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University. A highly eminent authority on Middle Eastern history, the author of over two dozen books, most notably The Arabs in History, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, The Political Language of Islam, The Muslim Discovery of Europe and The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years.
Published December 12, 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA. 204 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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But while sometimes the author states that there is a critical inquiry into the source of economic weakness in Muslim civilizations, other times he says that, instead of looking into the mirror, Muslims have blamed their problems on Europeans or Jews and thus fed their sense of victimhood.

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Star Tribune

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Review: In this erudite history of the Middle East, a noted scholar of Islam reaches back a thousand years to detail the long decline of a culture whose wealth, scholarship and tolerance far exceeded that of medieval Europe.

Mar 16 2002 | Read Full Review of What Went Wrong?: Western Imp...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

I knew that Syria was filled with ace historical attractions -- Crusader Castles, early Christian churches, the famous souks of Damascus and Aleppo, and the spectacular Greco-Roman ruins of Palmyra, to name just a few -- but I didn't expect it to be the ideal spot for a family vacation.

May 25 2009 | Read Full Review of What Went Wrong?: Western Imp...


Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of voters and votes in Ohio, raise grave doubts about whether it can be said that the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner conforming to Ohio law, let alone Federal election commission and con...

Jun 02 2005 | Read Full Review of What Went Wrong?: Western Imp...

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