People also search for
Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Written by Arabic writers from tales gathered in India, Persia and across the great Arab Empire, the One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by Shahrazad night after night, under sentence of death, to the king Shahrayar who has vowed to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. Shahrazad prolongs her life by keeping the King engrossed in a web of stories that never ends - a fascinating kaleidoscope of life, love and destiny. The tales that unfold are erotic, violent, supernatural and endlessly surprising.
The web of tales woven by Shahrazad were exoticised and bowdlerised in the West under the title of the Arabian Nights. This adaptation unearths the true character of One Thousand and One Nights as it is in the oldest Arabic manuscripts. In turns erotic, brutal, witty, poetic and complex, the tales tell of love and marriage, power and punishment, rich and poor, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. The great cities and thriving trade routes of the Islamic world provide the setting for these stories that employ supernatural mystery and intense realism to portray the deep and endless drama of human experience.
As a window on the world, Shahnameh belongs in the company of such literary masterpieces as Dante’s Divine Comedy, the plays of Shakespeare, the epics of Homer— classics whose reach and range bring whole cultures into view. In its pages are unforgettable moments of national triumph and failure, human courage and cruelty, blissful love and bitter grief.
In tracing the roots of Iran, Shahnameh initially draws on the depths of legend and then carries its story into historical times, when ancient Persia was swept into an expanding Islamic empire. Now Dick Davis, the greatest modern translator of Persian poetry, has revisited that poem, turning the finest stories of Ferdowsi’s original into an elegant combination of prose and verse. For the first time in English, in the most complete form possible, readers can experience Shahnameh in the same way that Iranian storytellers have lovingly conveyed it in Persian for the past thousand years.
In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history’s most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity’s sacred text, and how its interpretation changed over time. Armstrong’s history of the Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faith and rising fundamentalism.