The House Divided: Sunni, Shia and the Making of the Middle East (Hardback)
  • The House Divided: Sunni, Shia and the Making of the Middle East (Hardback)
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The House Divided: Sunni, Shia and the Making of the Middle East (Hardback)

(author)
£25.00
Hardback 432 Pages
Published: 04/01/2024
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Waterstones Says

Addressing the all-important split between Sunni and Shia Muslims that continues to have such dramatic and far-reaching effects to this day, Rogerson's rigorously researched volume is a brilliant primer on Middle Eastern history.

At the heart of the Middle East, with its regional conflicts and proxy wars, is a 1400-year-old schism between Sunni and Shia. To understand this divide and its modern resonances, we need to revisit its origins, which go back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, the accidental coup that set aside the claims of his son Ali, and the slaughter of Ali's own son Husayn at Kerbala. These events, known to every Muslim, have created a slender faultline in the Middle East.

The House Divided follows these narratives from the first Sunni and Shia caliphates, through the medieval caliphates and empires of the Arabs, Persians and Ottomans, to the contemporary Middle East. It shows how a complex range of identities and rivalries - religious, ethnic and national - have shaped the region, jolted by the seismic shift of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Rogerson's original approach takes the modern chessboard of nation states and looks at each through its particular history of empires and occupiers, minorities and resources, sheikhs and imams. The result is a book of wide-ranging empathy, understanding and insights.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781257258
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 44 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

A masterly engagement with the most delicate and important of subjects - filled with gentle empathy, learning and rare balance - Rory Stewart

Brilliant - Anita Anand, Empire

Rogerson is an original - eloquent and always fascinating - William Dalrymple

A balanced, sweeping, hugely ambitious work that delves into the long and tangled roots of the modern Middle East - Literary Review

This digestible history of the restless region is a useful alternative to academic tracts ... it has answers to several of the basic questions: the difference between Sunni and Shia, how Turkey and Iran aren't Arab, but are important anyway, and, sometimes, just how much Britain has to answer for in the Middle East ... this is not a book to be ignored - Richard Spencer, The Times

Impressive ... a highly readable, lovingly researched, romantic and engaging history - Spectator

This book is a tour de force. One of the best summary histories of Islam from its beginnings until today I have come across. Informative, engaging, and excitingly written, it is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins and development of a great world religion - Ghada Karmi, author, In Search of Fatima

A lucid, vivid and sweeping history of the divisions within Islam and their destructive impact on the contemporary Muslim world. Barnaby Rogerson takes you to the heart of the arguments and battles, revealing some stark truths. This is history as a living entity. A dazzling achievement - Ziauddin Sardar, author, In Search of Mecca

Rogerson is a master storyteller, equally at home sketching the intimacies of the Prophet's household as he is illuminating geopolitical trends across the world of contemporary Islam - Matthew Teller, author, Nine Quarters of Jerusalem

Rogerson knows that things are much more complex than Sunni versus Shia. But in its depiction of the multiple cats' cradles of tensions, The House Divided is jauntily readable and thought-provoking about a Middle East still in the middle of global crises, and still, as so often, misunderstood - Tim Mackintosh-Smith, author, Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires

Praise for Barnaby Rogerson - :

Rogerson has a novelist's gift for filling out the characters of his main players - Noel Malcolm

Rogerson is an excellent story-teller - Norman Stone

Remarkable - Barnaby Rogerson has succeeded in isolating all the different strands of North African history - John Julius Norwich

Rogerson is eccentric and eclectic but always iconoclastic. He is not afraid to explore and elucidate the recondite in a way a more formal academic would not - Ross Leckie

A HOUSE DIVIDED, Sunni, Shia, and the making of the Middle East

A HOUSE DIVIDED, Sunni, Shia, and the making of the Middle East

Canterbury - Rose Lane
Wednesday 22nd May 18:30

Islam’s Sunni-Shia split still seismically affects our world. Barnaby Rogerson’s book is a rigorously researched primer on Middle Eastern history, and a ground-breaking analysis of a schism which dates back to 632 AD. Rogerson has made documentaries on Islam for the BBC and Al-Jazeera.

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