World history is not a chronological list of every damned thing that ever happened. It’s the narrative of how “we” got to where we are today. The shape of the narrative depends, therefore, on who is telling story and where they feel they are today. Destiny Disrupted, A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes takes, as its point of departure, the following question: what are the key events of world history and the shape of the overall story if one assumes that the center of the world is not Europe but the Islamic heartland? Following from this premise, it sets forth a provocative “alternative” history of the world that is as compellingly readable as any novel. Destiny Disrupted won the Northern California Book Award for Best General Nonfiction of 2009, and it has been translated into nine languages , including Russian, Dutch, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian.
To buy Destiny Disrupted, go here.
“I’m in the middle of Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes, and it’s incredibly illuminating. Ansary pretty much covers the entire history of Islam in an incredibly readable and lucid way. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone I know. Especially when people are looking for a comprehensive-but-approachable way to look at world history through the lens of Islam, there’s no better book.”
–Dave Eggers, What Is the What
“[The fire] was roaring nicely, and I was seated not far from it, reading “Destiny Disrupted” by Tamim Ansary, which is the perfect book for someone who knows hardly anything about the history of the Muslim world and feels that, really, what with things the way they are, a little more attention to detail would be useful. It’s one of those “fascinating new fact every paragraph” books. Would you like to know how the Shiite-Sunni schism happened? It’s all here. Rumi the poet? He’s here. Empires, sultanates, wars, atrocities, cities of great beauty now lost forever, the whole deal. Even the chapters on theology are enjoyable, and I’m not big on the minutiae of belief systems.”
–Jon Carroll, Columnist
“Tamim Ansary has written a truly superb history of the Islamic world. His excellent analysis provides the reader with an insightful understanding of how that world and its people were shaped by events. This is a must read for all those who want to understand the evolution of a significant global society and how it has interacted with the rest of the world.”
–General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret)
“If you want to put today’s headlines about jihadist suicide bombings into the much larger context of history, you’d be well advised to settle in with “Destiny Disrupted.” It’s the story of a civilization that suddenly found itself upended by strangers and now wants to put itself right. And if author Ansary stops short of calling the result a clash of civilizations, he feels free to call it two one-sided views of world history. His book is a valuable tool for opening up a view of the other side.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Never apologist in tone, meticulously researched and balanced, often amusing but never glib, Destiny Disrupted is ultimately a gripping drama that pulls the reader into great, seminal events of world history, a book which offers a wealth of knowledge and insight to any reader who wants to understand the movements and events behind the modern-day hostilities wracking Western and Islamic societies.”
For an insightful review of Destiny Disrupted, go to Matt Luedke’s blog here.