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What Went Wrong?

For many centuries, Islam was the world's greatest, most open, most enlightened, most creative, most powerful civilisation. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and in the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life. Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed, and he provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. Some Middle Easterners asked not who did this to us?' but where did we go wrong?'; while others fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, both internal and external - and the results are very much with us today.
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a New York Times bestseller Bernard Lewis is the greatest living historian of the Middle East explains Islamic anger behind the events of September 11th and the Palestinian and other conflicts

About the Author

Bernard Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Formerly Professor of Middle Eastern History at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London, 1949-74.


This had a press date of 2 May. Bernard did a big interview with the SUNDAY TIMES NEWS REVIEW section which ran on 5 May and we have had some good reviewcoverage with reviews still coming in: ''WHAT WENT WRONG? is a masterly, engaging account of its (the Islamic state) steady decline and clashes with modernity.'Stephen Grey, THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the current problems in the Middle East should start by reading this book, written by a great scholar whose respect for a once-great civilisation is as clear as his cool-headed analysis of what it has become today.'Ian Buruma, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'authoritative book'Akbar Ahmed,THE GUARDIAN 'bold lines of discussion and masterly perspective'Anton La Guardian, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'the book is a great pleasure to read because of the breadth of Lewis's knowledge, his ability to summon up the illuminating quotation, his familiarity with unsual byways of historical investigation, and, of course, the delightful fluency of his pen.'ME Yapp, LITERARY REVIEW 'Few contemporary scholars of Islamic culture and history can match the erudition and insight of Lewis. In this work he offers a learned and absorbing explanation of the reasonsfor the rather sad state in which the Muslim world finds itself today despite all the achievements and glory that Islam enjoyed in medieval times. And a very compelling explanation it is too'.COMMONWEALTH LAWYERS ASSOCIATION 2002 The book was also selected by John Gross in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH for his summe

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