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    Nyerere The Early Years by Thomas Molony

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922-1999), the first President of Tanzania, was a man whose political life was uniquely and inextricably bound into the history of the nation he created.  This book presents the first truly rounded portrait of Nyerere's early life, from his birth in 1922 until his graduation from Edinburgh in 1952, enabling us to see his later political achievements in a new light. It was after returning to Tanganyika that "Mwalimu" (the teacher) formally entered politics, and led efforts to deliver Tanganyika to independence.  Drawing on interviews with his contemporaries and archival sources including his letters as a student and colonial authorities files on him, this biography brings a new perspective on how the scholarship that Nyerere engaged with as a young man influenced his ideas of the uhuru movement against colonial rule and, later, the ujamaa policy of African socialism that so defined his leadership of an independent Tanzania. Thomas Molony is Senior Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh.  

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    Islam A Short History by Karen Armstrong

    Ksh 1199

    Brief Summary 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.  

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    No god but God The Origins Evolution and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A finalist for the Guardian First Book Award  In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture.  Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East.  He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.  

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    The Book of Contemplation Islam and the Crusades

    Ksh 1999

    Brief Summary The Crusades as seen through the eyes of Muslims A significant contribution to the understanding of the medieval holy wars between Christians and Muslims, this volume brings together the best and most complete eyewitness account of the Crusades from the perspective of a medieval Muslim writer.  Focusing on twelfth-century Arab aristocrat Usama ibn Munqidh's Book of Contemplation but also including extracts from The Book of the Staff and Kernels of Refinement, this volume offers a strikingly human portrayal of Islamic perspectives on day-to-day existence, warfare, and the curious European invaders. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.  

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    Whats Right with Islam A New Vision for Muslims and the West by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

    Ksh 1299

    Brief Summary An American imam offers answers for today's toughest questions about Islam, and a vision for reconciliation between Islam and the West. One of the pressing questions of our time is what went wrong in the relationship between Muslims and the West. Continuing global violence in the name of Islam reflects the deepest fears by certain Muslim factions of Western political, cultural, and economic encroachment.  The solution to the current antagonism requires finding common ground upon which to build mutual respect and understanding. Who better to offer such an analysis than an American imam, someone with a foot in each world and the tools to examine the common roots of both Western and Muslim cultures; someone to explain to the non-Islamic West not just what went wrong with Islam, but what's right with Islam. Focused on finding solutions, not on determining fault, this is ultimately a hopeful, inspiring book. What's Right with Islam systematically lays out the reasons for the current dissonance between these cultures and offers a foundation and plan for improved relations. Wide-ranging in scope, What's Right with Islam elaborates in satisfying detail a vision for a Muslim world that can eventually embrace its own distinctive forms of democracy and capitalism, aspiring to a new Cordoba - a time when Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all other faith traditions will live together in peace and prosperity.

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    Why the Jews the reason for antisemitism

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary From the bestselling authors of The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, a compelling discussion of the dangerous rise in antisemitism during the twenty-first century. The very word Jew continues to arouse passions as does no other religious, national, or political name. Why have Jews been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred in history? Why did Hitler consider murdering Jews more important than winning World War II? Why has the United Nations devoted more time to tiny Israel than to any other nation on earth? In this seminal study, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin attempt to uncover and understand the roots of antisemitism—from the ancient world to the Holocaust to the current crisis in the Middle East. Why the Jews? offers new insights and unparalleled perspectives on some of the most recent, pressing developments in the contemporary world, including: -The replicating of Nazi antisemitism in the Arab world -The pervasive anti-Zionism/antisemitism on university campuses -The rise of antisemitism in Europe -Why the United States and Israel are linked in the minds of antisemites Clear, persuasive, and thought-provoking, Why the Jews? is must reading for anyone who seeks to understand the unique role of the Jews in human history.  

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    Pioneers of Islamic Revival by Ali Rahnema

    Ksh 2699

    Brief Summary This book examines the political environments, lives and works of those diverse 19th and 20th century Muslim thinkers who believed that Islam was capable of providing practical solutions to the problems of the modern world.  It provides a balanced account of their contribution to contemporary revolutionary Islam and to political developments in countries from Morocco to Indonesia.  A new introductory chapter included in this updated edition addresses these thinkers in the context of the extraordinarily changed circumstances confronting Islamic countries since 9/11.  

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    Mohammed and Charlemagne by Henri Pirenne

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary The final work of the great Belgian historian Henri Pirenne, this remarkable classic — published after his death — offers a revolutionary perspective on how Europe under the influence of a Roman Empire centered in Constantinople evolved into the Europe of Charlemagne and the Middle Ages. Departing from the standard view that Germanic invasions obliterated the Roman Empire, Pirenne advances the radical new thesis that "the cause of the break with the tradition of antiquity was the rapid and unexpected advance of Islam," and event of historical proportions that prevented the western Mediterranean from being what it had always been: a thoroughfare of commerce and thought. It became instead what Pirenne refers to as "a Musulman lake," thereby causing "the axis of life [to shift] northwards from the Mediterranean" for the first time in history. Brilliant and controversial, this volume garnered these words of praise from the critics: "It is a dull reader indeed who does not recognize the light of genius in the pages of this book, without doubt a landmark in contemporary historiography." — G. C. Boyce, Annals of the American Academy. "… Pirenne's crowning triumph. The fire of his genius, the boldness of his mind, his profound learning and vivid pen make this volume pleasant reading." — Commonweal. "… an important, seminal book, worthy to close one of the most distinguished careers in European scholarship." — Saturday Review of Literature. Pirenne's masterly study is essential reading for history students, medievalists, and general readers with an interest in the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the Middle Ages  

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    Holy War The Crusades and Their Impact on Todays World by Karen Armstrong

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God, skillfully narrates this history of the Crusades with a view toward their profound and continuing influence.  In 1095 Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and reconquer the Holy Land. Thus began the holy wars that would focus the power of Europe against a common enemy and become the stuff of romantic legend.  In reality the Crusades were a series of rabidly savage conflicts in the name of piety. And, as Armstrong demonstrates in this fascinating book, their legacy of religious violence continues today in the Middle East, where the age-old conflict of Christians, Jews, and Muslims persists.   

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    The Great Transformation The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary In the ninth century BCE, the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Later generations further developed these initial insights, but we have never grown beyond them.  Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, for example, were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision. Now, in The Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal "Axial Age" can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times. \ Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically, examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the mystics of the Upanishads, Mencius, and Euripides. All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time. Despite some differences of emphasis, there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion.  With regard to dealing with fear, despair, hatred, rage, and violence, the Axial sages gave their people and give us, Armstrong says, two important pieces of advice: first there must be personal responsibility and self-criticism, and it must be followed by practical, effective action.  In her introduction and concluding chapter, Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today. In our various institutions, we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate. We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity, but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma. All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering. In each Axial Age case, a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change.  

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    The Case for God by Karen Armstrong

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao.  Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time, when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. Why has God become unbelievable? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our ancestors? Answering these questions with the same depth of knowledge and profound insight that have marked all her acclaimed books, Armstrong makes clear how the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level.  And she makes a powerful, convincing argument for drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age. Yet she cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide answers that lie within the competence of human reason; that, she says, is the role of logos.  The task of religion is “to help us live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there are no easy explanations.” She emphasizes, too, that religion will not work automatically. It is, she says, a practical discipline: its insights are derived not from abstract speculation but from “dedicated intellectual endeavor” and a “compassionate lifestyle that enables us to break out of the prism of selfhood.”  

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    In the beginning by Karen Armstrong

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary The power of Genesis lies in its stories, especially those of the creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. Armstrong traces the grand design of Genesis and its great themes, examines its stories in fascinating detail, and shows why and how they work so well to illustrate the human quest for meaning.  We discover how these ancient tales illuminate our most profound and intractable problems: our struggle with evil, with obtuseness, with cowardice, and particularly with the difficulty of facing up to the consequences of our past actions.  Most significantly, Armstrong makes clear how the stories in Genesis can help us to relate - morally - to our own personal histories in our strivings to make ourselves whole, and to grasp why the struggle itself is worthwhile even if its goal is never fully achieved.  

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