Book picks similar to
Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith by James H. Billington
Anthony D. Smith - 1994
Its founders and early sponsors--Rousseau, Herder, Fichte, Korais, and Mazzini--looked to nationalism as the manifestation of modern humanity's most essential aspirations: autonomy, unity, identity. Born of notions regarding popular freedom and sovereignty that had been gathering momentum for generations, it conjured up images of a modernizing West at once hungry for change and yearning for a return to age-old concepts of fraternity and ancient heritage. Since that time nationalism, having taken on countless different dimensions, remains a vital and dynamic force for change--whether for good or otherwise.Despite only recently becoming the subject of scholarly debate, nationalism has been the focus of a truly prodigious amount of writing. This important Oxford Reader makes the topic more accessible by offering a broad, authoritative treatment of the key contributions to the subject, while giving unprecedented depth to recent debates and issues. Edited by two of the field's most influential scholars, the readings are representative of the vast array of experience and scholarship that have shaped the concept of nationalism for over two centuries. From Ernest Renan's What is a Nation?, written in the 1880s, to the more current views of the 1990s, Nationalism gathers under one cover an impressive array of writing on everything from imagined communities to ethno-regional movements. In no other volume will students of politics, history, sociology, anthropology, international relations, and cultural studies have access to such a definitive appraisal of one of the modern world's most influential--and explosive--ideas.
A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West
Ian Johnson - 2010
Most accounts reached back twenty years, to U.S. support of Islamist fighters in Afghanistan. But Johnson dug deeper, to the start of the Cold War, uncovering the untold story of a group of ex-Soviet Muslims who had defected to Germany during World War II. There, they had been fashioned into a well-oiled anti-Soviet propaganda machine. As that war ended and the Cold War began, West German and U.S. intelligence agents vied for control of this influential group, and at the center of the covert tug of war was a quiet mosque in Munich—radical Islam’s first beachhead in the West.Culled from an array of sources, including newly declassified documents, A Mosque in Munich interweaves the stories of several key players: a Nazi scholar turned postwar spymaster; key Muslim leaders across the globe, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood; and naïve CIA men eager to fight communism with a new weapon, Islam. A rare ground-level look at Cold War spying and a revelatory account of the West’s first, disastrous encounter with radical Islam, A Mosque in Munich is as captivating as it is crucial to our understanding the mistakes we are still making in our relationship with Islamists today
Peter Turchin - 2009
Century-long periods of population expansion come before long periods of stagnation and decline; the dynamics of prices mirror population oscillations; and states go through strong expansionist phases followed by periods of state failure, endemic sociopolitical instability, and territorial loss. Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov explore the dynamics and causal connections between such demographic, economic, and political variables in agrarian societies and offer detailed explanations for these long-term oscillations--what the authors call secular cycles.Secular Cycles elaborates and expands upon the demographic-structural theory first advanced by Jack Goldstone, which provides an explanation of long-term oscillations. This book tests that theory's specific and quantitative predictions by tracing the dynamics of population numbers, prices and real wages, elite numbers and incomes, state finances, and sociopolitical instability. Turchin and Nefedov study societies in England, France, and Russia during the medieval and early modern periods, and look back at the Roman Republic and Empire. Incorporating theoretical and quantitative history, the authors examine a specific model of historical change and, more generally, investigate the utility of the dynamical systems approach in historical applications. An indispensable and groundbreaking resource for a wide variety of social scientists, Secular Cycles will interest practitioners of economic history, historical sociology, complexity studies, and demography.
'Isms & 'Ologies: All the Movements, Ideologies and Doctrines That Have Shaped Our World
Arthur Goldwag - 2007
Here is the ultimate guide to over 450 of the most significant intellectual terms, movements, and religions that help shape the society we live in. Simply, concisely, and with personality, ‘Isms and ‘Ologies clarifies buzz terms like jihad, often defined as “holy war” but which literally means “striving” ;and illustrates the differences between Conservatism, Paleoconservatism, and Neoconservatism. It explains String Theory (which attempts to unify Quantum Mechanics and Einsteinian Relativity); describes Fauvism (an artistic movement that paved the way for Expressionism and Cubism); defines Locofocoism (an American political ideology named after a “self-lighting cigar)”; and identifies and explores so much more. Helpfully divided into categories–including politics, history, philosophy and the arts, economics, religion, science, and medicine–cross referenced, and thoroughly indexed, ‘Isms and ‘Ologies is a must have for the budding intellectual in everyone.
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror
Bernard Lewis - 2003
He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world. The Crisis of Islam ranges widely through thirteen centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the twentieth century leading up to the violent confrontations of today: the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States.While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is new. So too is the cult of the suicide bomber. Brilliantly disentangling the crosscurrents of Middle Eastern history from the rhetoric of its manipulators, Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award–winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Usama bin Ladin represents and why his murderous message resonates so widely in the Islamic world.
The Al Qaeda Reader: The Essential Texts of Osama Bin Laden's Terrorist Organization
Raymond Ibrahim - 2007
Al-Qaeda’s chilling ideology calls for a relentless jihad against non-Muslim “infidels,” repudiates democracy in favor of Islamic law, stresses the importance of martyrdom, and mocks the notion of “moderate” Islam.Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of these works is how grounded they are in the traditional sources of Islamic theology: the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet. The founders of al-Qaeda use these sources as powerful weapons of persuasion, reminding followers (and would-be recruits) that Muhammad and his warriors spread Islam through the power of the sword and that the Koran is not merely allegory or history but literal truth that commands all Muslims to action.In addition to laying bare al-Qaeda’s ultimate motives, The Al Qaeda Reader includes the organization’s propagandist speeches, which are directed primarily at Americans, Europeans, and Iraqis. Here, al-Qaeda’s many "official" accusations against the West are meticulously delineated, from standard complaints such as the Palestinian issue and Iraq to wholly unexpected ones concerning the U.S.’s exploitation of women and the environment.Taken together, the Theology and Propaganda sections of this volume reveal the most comprehensive picture of al-Qaeda to date. They also highlight the double-speak of bin Laden and Zawahiri, who often say one thing to Muslims in their religious treatises ("We must hate and fight the West because Islam commands it") and another in their propaganda directed at the West ("The West is the aggressor and we are fighting back merely in self-defense").Westerners from across the political spectrum will be fascinated and enlightened by The Al Qaeda Reader’s insights into the nature of Islamic texts and the ways in which al-Qaeda has used these texts to manufacture hatred against our civilization and our way of life.
The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought
Jerry Z. Muller - 2002
Philosophers, politicians, poets and social scientists have debated the cultural, moral, and political effects of capitalism for centuries, and their claims have been many and diverse. The Mind and the Market is a remarkable history of how the idea of capitalism has developed in Western thought.Ranging across an ideological spectrum that includes Hobbes, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Hegel, Marx, and Matthew Arnold, as well as twentieth-century communist, fascist, and neoliberal intellectuals, historian Jerry Muller examines a fascinating thread of ideas about the ramifications of capitalism and its future implications. This is an engaging and accessible history of ideas that reverberate throughout everyday life.
Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism
Dore Gold - 2003
Using previously unpublished documents, Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and internationally known Middle East strategy expert, pieces together the links between the current wave of global terrorism -- from the World Trade Center to Bali, Indonesia -- and the ideology of hatred taught in the schools and mosques of Saudi Arabia.
Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left
David Horowitz - 2004
liberals and Islamic radicals. With America's battle against the disastrous force of terrorism at hand, Horowitz takes us behind the curtain of the unholy alliance between liberals and the enemy — a force with malevolent intentions, and one that Americans can no longer ignore.
Ideas That Matter: A Personal Guide For The 21st Century
A.C. Grayling - 2008
And, in turn, ideas evolve. This is Grayling's personal and heartfelt guide to the ideas, past and present, that shape our world. It covers religion, philosophy, scientific theory and political movements.
Ideas That Changed the World
Felipe Fernández-Armesto - 2003
One of the most respected historians writing today, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto offers an unashamedly personal analysis on a wide range of ideas--from the afterlife to taboo foods--that will keep readers enthralled.
Web of Debt
Ellen Hodgson Brown - 2007
Our money is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been privatized -- taken over by a private money cartel. It is all done by sleight of hand, concealed by economic double-speak. "Web of Debt" unravels the deception and presents a crystal clear picture of the financial abyss towards which we are heading, pointing out all the signposts. Then it explores a workable alternative, one that was tested in colonial America and is grounded in the best of American economic thought, including the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. If you care about financial security, your own or the nation's, you should read this book.
Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction
Malise Ruthven - 2004
But what does "fundamentalism" really mean? Since it was coined by American Protestant evangelicals in the 1920s, the use of the term "fundamentalist" has expanded to include a diverse range of radical conservatives and ideological purists, not all religious. Fundamentalism could now mean both militant Israeli settlers as well as the Islamist radicals who oppose them, it can mean Christians, Hindus, animal liberationists, and even Buddhist nationalists. Here, Middle East expert Malise Ruthven investigates fundamentalism's historical, social, religious, political, and ideological roots, and tackles the polemic and stereotypes surrounding this complex phenomena--one that eludes simple definition, yet urgently needs to be understood.