Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia

Routledge
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The contributors address the history, originality, variety and sophistication of traditional science, technology and material culture in the Middle East and Central Asia, their influence on the history of Europe and the West, and the threat posed by modern Western technologies.
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Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Nov 23, 2004
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781135777012
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / General
History / Middle East / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Doug Stanton
“A thrilling action ride of a book” (The New York Times Book Review)—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

“A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” (USA TODAY).
Jack Weatherford
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world.

Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order.

But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope
of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.

In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn’t just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made.


From the Hardcover edition.
Ziba Mir-Hosseini
In today’s world all eyes are on Iran, which has grappled with an experiment that has had a massive global impact. For some, the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 was the triumph of a modern, political Islam, heralding Muslim justice and economic prosperity. Others, including many of the original revolutionaries, saw religious fanatics attempting to roll back time by creating a despotic theocracy. Either way, the Iranian Revolution changed the Muslim world. It not only inspired the Muslim masses but also reinvigorated intellectual debates on the nature and possibilities of an Islamic state. The new ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ combined not just religion and the state, but theocracy and democracy. Yet the revolution’s heirs were soon engaged in a protracted struggle over its legacy. Dissident thinkers, from within an Islamic framework, sought a rights-based political order that could accept dissent, tolerance, pluralism, women’s rights and civil liberties. Their ideas led directly to the presidency of Mohammad Khatami and, despite their political failure, they did leave a permanent legacy by demystifying Iranian religious politics, and condemning the use of the Shariah to justify autocratic rule. This book tells the story of the reformist movement through the world of Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari. An active supporter of the revolution who became one of the most outspoken critics of theocracy, Eshkevari developed ideas of ‘Islamic democratic government’, which have attracted considerable attention in Iran and elsewhere. In presenting a selection of Eshkevari’s writings, this book reveals the intellectual and political trajectory of a Muslim thinker and his attempts to reconcile Islam with reform and democracy. As such it makes a highly original contribution to our understanding of the difficult social and political issues confronting the Islamic world today.
Ziba Mir-Hosseini
In today’s world all eyes are on Iran, which has grappled with an experiment that has had a massive global impact. For some, the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 was the triumph of a modern, political Islam, heralding Muslim justice and economic prosperity. Others, including many of the original revolutionaries, saw religious fanatics attempting to roll back time by creating a despotic theocracy. Either way, the Iranian Revolution changed the Muslim world. It not only inspired the Muslim masses but also reinvigorated intellectual debates on the nature and possibilities of an Islamic state. The new ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ combined not just religion and the state, but theocracy and democracy. Yet the revolution’s heirs were soon engaged in a protracted struggle over its legacy. Dissident thinkers, from within an Islamic framework, sought a rights-based political order that could accept dissent, tolerance, pluralism, women’s rights and civil liberties. Their ideas led directly to the presidency of Mohammad Khatami and, despite their political failure, they did leave a permanent legacy by demystifying Iranian religious politics, and condemning the use of the Shariah to justify autocratic rule. This book tells the story of the reformist movement through the world of Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari. An active supporter of the revolution who became one of the most outspoken critics of theocracy, Eshkevari developed ideas of ‘Islamic democratic government’, which have attracted considerable attention in Iran and elsewhere. In presenting a selection of Eshkevari’s writings, this book reveals the intellectual and political trajectory of a Muslim thinker and his attempts to reconcile Islam with reform and democracy. As such it makes a highly original contribution to our understanding of the difficult social and political issues confronting the Islamic world today.
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