Crusade and jihad The thousand-year war between the Muslim world and the global north

William R. Polk, 1929-

Book - 2018

Encompasses the entire history of the catastrophic encounter between the Global North--China, Russia, Europe, Britain, and America--and Muslim societies from Central Asia to West Africa, explaining the deep hostilities between them and how they grew over the centuries. --Adapted from publisher description.

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New Haven : Yale University Press [2018]
Main Author
William R. Polk, 1929- (author)
Item Description
"The Henry L. Stimpson Lectures at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
xviii, 632 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 537-587) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. Glorious Memories And Agonizing Awakening
  • 1. The Social, Economic, and Cultural Bases of Islam
  • 2. Muhammad the Messenger and His Message
  • 3. The Caliphate and the Conquests
  • 4. The Great Days of the Caliphates and the Evolution of Islam
  • 5. The North Moves South
  • Part 2. The Responses Of Traditional Muslim Societies
  • 6. Sultan Selim III, Napoleon, and Mehmet Ali
  • 7. French Invasion and Algerian Resistance
  • 8. The British Conquest of India and the Sepoy Revolt
  • 9. Chechen Imam Shamil Resists Russian Imperialism
  • 10. Bankers on Horseback
  • 11. Sudanese Mahdiyah and the British Conquest
  • 12. Sanusiyah Imam Umar al-Mukhtar against Italian Genocide
  • 13. The Riff War and Abd al-Karim in Morocco
  • 14. The Aceh War and Dutch Imperialism
  • 15. Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and the Muslim Awakening
  • Part 3. The Shift To Secular Nationalism
  • 16. The Struggle to Define Identity
  • 17. The First Iranian Revolution
  • 18. The First World War
  • 19. The Postwar Middle East
  • 20. Palestine, the Much Promised Land
  • 21. Turkey and Atatürk
  • 22. Reza Shah of Iran
  • 23. Islam in India and the Formation of Pakistan
  • 24. Kashmir, the Palestine of Central Asia
  • 25. Islam in Southeast Asia
  • 26. Afghanistan's Centuries of Resistance
  • 27. The Silk Road
  • 28. The Algerian Revolution
  • 29. Nasser and Arabiyah
  • 30. Saddam Husain and Iraq
  • Part 4. The Reassertion Of Islam
  • 31. Iran, the Revolutionary Shiah Muslim State
  • 32. The Muslim Brotherhood
  • 33. The Philosopher of the Muslim Revolt, Sayyid Qutb
  • 34. Palestine: Wars, Diaspora, and Failed State
  • 35. Hizbullah, Stateless Nation
  • 36. Gaza and Hamas
  • 37. The Uyghurs and Chinese Islam
  • Part 5. Militant Islam
  • 38. The Moro "Rebellion" in the Philippines
  • 39. Somalia, the "Failed State,"
  • 40. Boko Haram and Nigeria
  • 41. Usama bin Ladin and al-Qaida
  • 42. The Islamic State
  • Part 6. Afterword: The Parable Of The Blind Brahmins
  • 43. Trunks and Tails
  • 44. What the North Did to the South
  • 45. What the South Did to Itself
  • 46. Where We Are Now and Where We Can Go
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

In this synthesis, Polk harnesses decades worth of research, teaching, government service, and travel to explain what Islam is, how it has interacted with the non-Muslim world, and what the Muslim reaction to imperialism has been, covering the seventh century to the present day. He covers not only the Middle East but also Central Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and parts of Africa. Throughout the work, Polk foreshadows the writings and philosophers who would influence radical movements later, e.g., Taimiyah, writing in the wake of the Mongol invasions, would influence Wahhabist doctrine of the 18th century and various strains of Islamism in recent decades. Occasionally, the book falls into crass stereotypes. Discussing events leading to the Iran-Iraq War, Polk writes (referring to Gulf access), "logically, regulating its use should have been simple but neither the Iraqis nor the Iranians were governed by logic." Generally, the author maintains his thesis that the Muslim world has not developed to its potential due to the ravages of imperialism. It is not simply a matter of blaming the global North; Polk argues that groups within colonized countries benefited from and worked with these countries, which stunted the development of institutions of democracy. Summing Up: Recommended. General and undergraduate collections. --Mona L Russell, East Carolina University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.