Ansary, Tamim: Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2009)
Our discussion took place: April 2010
Synopsis: We in the west share a common narrative of world history—that runs from the Nile Valley and Mesopotomia, through Greece and Rome and the French Revolution, to the rise of the secular state and the triumph of democracy. But our story largely omits a whole civilization that until quite recently saw itself at the center of world history, and whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years. In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe—a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized—had somehow hijacked destiny. Entertaining and enlightening, Destiny Disrupted also offers a vital perspective on current conflicts.