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LLL Presents – A History of the Muslim World

Michael Cook, Near Eastern Studies

Tue, 4/30 · 6:00 pm7:30 pm · Princeton Public Library

Labyrinth Books; Princeton Public Library

Labyrinth and the Library invite you for a discussion of a timely, panoramic history of the Muslim world from the age of the Prophet Muḥammad to the birth of the modern era.

This book describes and explains the major events, personalities, conflicts, and convergences that have shaped the history of the Muslim world. The body of the book takes readers from the origins of Islam to the eve of the nineteenth century, and an epilogue continues the story to the present day. Michael Cook thus provides a broad history of a civilization remarkable for both its unity and diversity.

After setting the scene in the Middle East of late antiquity, the book depicts the rise of Islam as one of the great black swan events of history. It continues with the spectacular rise of the Caliphate, an empire that by the time it broke up had nurtured the formation of a new civilization. It then goes on to cover the diverse histories of all the major regions of the Muslim world, providing a wide-ranging account of the key military, political, and cultural developments that accompanied the eastward and westward spread of Islam from the Middle East to the shores of the Atlantic and the Pacific.

At the same time, A History of the Muslim World contains numerous primary-source quotations that expose the reader to a variety of acutely insightful voices from the Muslim past.

Michael Cook is Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His books include Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative PerspectiveA Brief History of the Human Race; and The Koran: A Very Short Introduction.

This event is co-presented by Labyrinth and the Princeton Public Library and co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council and Center for Collaborative History.

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