No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong’s short history demonstrates that the world’s fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.
About the Author
KAREN ARMSTRONG is a distinguished English writer noted for her memoirs and her books about religion. She majored in English at St. Anne's College in Oxford while living in a convent, an experience she wrote about in Through the Narrow Gate, which was published to laudatory reviews. She became an independent writer and has since published twenty-five books. In great demand as a public speaker, she is also the founder of the Charter for Compassion, which was funded with a $100,000 grant from TED.
“A small gem bristling with insight.” —The Washington Post
“A valuable corrective to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in the English-speaking world. . . . Engaging and provocative.” —The New York Times
“Karen Armstrong, a respected and popular author of several books about religion . . . takes on a useful and formidable task in presenting the history of Islam in a single short volume. As many other such works have been written either by apologists or by those hostile to Islam, Armstrong’s comprehensive and sympathetic work is welcome.” —Los Angeles Times
“In Armstrong’s brisk narrative, the clichés evaporate fast. . . . A book like this is suddenly essential." —Entertainment Weekly