A Short History

By Karen Armstrong

Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812966183, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 6, 2002

No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong's short history demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.

About the Author
Karen Armstrong is the bestselling author of The Case for God, among other books. A powerful voice for ecumenical understanding, she was instrumental in creating, launching and propagating the Charter for Compassion, a global, multifaith cooperative effort to restore compassionate thinking and action to the center of religious, moral and political life.

Praise For Islam

“A small gem bristling with insight.” —The Washington Post

“A valuable corrective to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in the English-speaking world. . . . Engaging and provocative.” —The New York Times

“Karen Armstrong, a respected and popular author of several books about religion . . . takes on a useful and formidable task in presenting the history of Islam in a single short volume. As many other such works have been written either by apologists or by those hostile to Islam, Armstrong’s comprehensive and sympathetic work is welcome.” —Los Angeles Times

“In Armstrong’s brisk narrative, the clichés evaporate fast. . . . A book like this is suddenly essential." —Entertainment Weekly