Pipes looks at the Rushdie affair in both its political and cultural aspects and shows in considerable detail what the fundamentalists perceived as so offensive in The Satanic Verses as against what Rushdie's novel actually said. Pipes explains how the book created a new crisis between Iran and the West at the time--disrupting international diplomacy, billions of dollars in trade, and prospects for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon.
Pipes maps out the long-term implications of the crisis. If the Ayatollah so easily intimidated the West, can others do the same? Can millions of fundamentalist Muslims now living in the United States and Europe possibly be assimilated into a culture so alien to them? Insightful and brilliantly written, this volume provides a full understanding of one of the most significant events in recent years. Koenraad Elst's postscript reviews the enduring impact of the Rushdie affair.
"The Rushdie Affair is a lucid, balanced often startling and ultimately convincing analysis....scrupulously fair, respectful of Islam yet unintimidated by the flood of threats and invective."--Mark Caldwell, Philadelphia Inquirer
"[A] work of impeccable scholarship.Pipes offers a number of conclusions that merit attention at all levels."--Amir Tahiri, Los Angeles Times
Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and a columnist for the New York Post and the Jerusalem Post. Among his books are The Long Shadow: Culture and Politics in the Middle East, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (both published by Transaction), Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, and Friendly Tyrants: An American Dilemma.
Koenraad Elst is a Belgium-based writer on comparative religion, Indian history, and Hindu-Muslim relations.
"Very highly recommended for anyone seeking a better understanding of contemporary Islam in general, and this defining controversy in particular."--Wisconsin Bookwatch
Muslim antagonism toward the West is deeply rooted in historical experience. In premodern times, the Islamic world enjoyed great success, being on the whole more powerful and wealthier than their neighbors. About two hundred years ago, a crisis developed, as Muslims became aware of the West's overwhelming force and economic might. While they might have found these elements attractive, Muslims found European culture largely alien and distasteful. The resulting resistance to Westernization by Muslims has deep roots, has been more persistent than that of other peoples, and goes far to explain the deep Muslim reluctance to accept modern ways. In short, Muslims saw what the West had and wanted it too, but they rejected the methods necessary to achieve this. This, the Muslim trauma, has only worsened over the years.
"Scholarly, far-ranging, and thoughtful... the debate is interesting, and Pipes has made a stimulating contribution to it."-The New Republic
"Brilliant, authoritative... demonstrates encyclopedic knowledge of Muslim intellectual history... Few other writers have explained so lucidly such complex developments in Muslim history."-The Washington Post
"He has resisted a widespread tendency to translate Muslim self-expression into social science jargon as unintelligible as any mosque harangue. His unadorned interpretation strikes a judicious balance between faithfulness to sources and clarity of presentation."-The American Spectator
Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and a columnist for the New York Post and the Jerusalem Post. Among his books are The Long Shadow: Culture and Politics in the Middle East (published by Transaction), Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, Friendly Tyrants: An American Dilemma, and The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Aftermath and the West.
Was AIDS intentionally inflicted upon blacks by whites? Was JFK assassinated as part of an intricate conspiracy? Pipes traces conspiracy theories through history to show that "Conspiracism"—genuine and virulent belief in a conspiracy—dates back to the First Crusade and reached a peak in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, with the focus shifting from the Jews, groups such as Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, and back again.
Berdyaev considered the philosophy of history as a field that laid the foundations of the Russian national consciousness. Its disputes were centered on distinctions between Slavophiles and Westerners, East and West. The Meaning of History was an early effort, following World War I, that attempted to revive this perspective. With the removal of Communism as a ruling system in Russia, that nation returned to an elaboration of a religious philosophy of history as the specific mission of Russian thought. This volume thus has contemporary significance. Its sense of the apocalypse, which distinguishes Russian from Western thought, gives the book its specifically religious character.
In order to grasp and oppose the complex phenomenon of social and cultural disintegration, Berdyaev shows that human beings must rely upon some internal dialectic. After the debacle of the war, the moment arrived to integrate Russian historical experiences into those of a Europe, which, although torn by schism, still claimed to be the descendant of Christendom. The book is remarkable for its powerful stylistic grace, and astonishingly contemporary feeling.