Envisioning the Arab Future: Modernization in US-Arab Relations, 1945-1967 (Global and International History) by Nathan J. Citino
Requirements: .PDF reader, 35.9 MB
Overview: Decades before 9/11 and the ‘Arab Spring’, US and Arab elites contended over the future of the Middle East. Through unprecedented research in Arabic and English, Envisioning the Arab Future details how Americans and Arabs – nationalists, Islamists, and communists – disputed the meaning of modernization within a shared set of Cold War-era concepts. Faith in linear progress, the idea that society functioned as a ‘system’, and a fascination with speed united officials and intellectuals who were otherwise divided by language and politics. This book assesses the regional implications of US power while examining a range of topics that transcends the Arab-Israeli conflict, including travel, communities, gender, oil, agriculture, Iraqi nationalism, Nasser’s Arab Socialism, and hijackings in both the United States and the Middle East. By uncovering a shared history of modernization between Arabs and Americans, Envisioning the Arab Future challenges assumptions about a ‘clash of civilizations’ and profoundly reinterprets the antecedents of today’s crises.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History > International & World Politics
Envisioning Islam: Syriac Christians and the Early Muslim World by Michael Philip Penn
Requirements: .PDF reader, 3.5 mb
Overview: The first Christians to encounter Islam were not Latin-speakers from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speakers from Constantinople but Mesopotamian Christians who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Under Muslim rule from the seventh century onward, Syriac Christians wrote the most extensive descriptions extant of early Islam. Seldom translated and often omitted from modern historical reconstructions, this vast body of texts reveals a complicated and evolving range of religious and cultural exchanges that took place from the seventh to the ninth century.
The first book-length analysis of these earliest encounters, Envisioning Islam highlights the ways these neglected texts challenge the modern scholarly narrative of early Muslim conquests, rulers, and religious practice. Examining Syriac sources including letters, theological tracts, scientific treatises, and histories, Michael Philip Penn reveals a culture of substantial interreligious interaction in which the categorical boundaries between Christianity and Islam were more ambiguous than distinct. The diversity of ancient Syriac images of Islam, he demonstrates, revolutionizes our understanding of the early Islamic world and challenges widespread cultural assumptions about the history of exclusively hostile Christian-Muslim relations.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Faith, Beliefs & Philosophy