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Download Islam: A Short History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Islam: A Short History, by Karen Armstrong Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,572 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Armstrong Narrator: Richard M. Davidson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Modern Library Chronicles Release Date: August 2000 ISBN: 9781440732621
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Bestselling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world’s fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad’s flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world than Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision course. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A valuable corrective to the hostile caricatures of Islam that circulate in the English-speaking world…Engaging and provocative.” 

    New York Times

  • “A small gem bristling with insight.”

    Washington Post

  • “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

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/15/2014

    " This book is true to it's title, and a good short history of Islam. I was hoping it would have more of an explanation of Islamic beliefs, but it's focused on history, so it wasn't as exciting for me as I wanted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 monique | 2/14/2014

    " This book informs the reader about Islam: its remarkable development, its basic tenets, and some of the key issues and people that have been involved in its history. It's also very well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jonathan | 2/10/2014

    " The book was well-written, accessible, and informative but stylistically it leaves a little to be desired. Ms. Armstrong also, in line with her usual modus operandi, comes to the history with her own agenda. There's a place for that, but when interacting with history I prefer to make my own choices rather than having them made for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh Scarabin | 1/30/2014

    " The title says it all. It's a brief objective history of Islam. A good beginner book for anyone interested in learning about Islam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/23/2014

    " I learned a lot, but had trouble keeping straight the names of people & places. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katrina | 12/27/2013

    " Parts of this book were good, but most of it was too dry to hold my interest. It is written for a non-scholarly audience and the lack of citations bugged me. Finally, although Armstrong tries to write in an unbiased way, several times she mentions the prophet Mohammed as trying to shape his society in a way that implies he authored the Qur'an himself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 12/25/2013

    " Baffled by Islam? Armstrong is the lady to deliver an easy to understand and important to know survey of Islam. Not really an enjoyable read but her books are somewhat more easy to digest than Bernard Lewis's books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara Merry | 12/14/2013

    " I am on page 54 on monday the 26th of January,2010 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Boothroyd | 11/27/2013

    " This was a very factual book with lots of dates and historical time frames. Despite this it was very interesting and I did learn alot; but, I had to keep putting it down and taking breaks because I did nod off at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Herdt | 11/7/2013

    " Since my brother had converted to Islam, I thought I should at least have a cursory understanding of it. This book provided that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Volkert | 9/15/2013

    " Way too many names, dates, places, especially in a language I'm not familiar with, but still a great introduction to Islam for someone who knew very little about it. I especially enjoyed her chapter on "fundamentalism," comparing the fundamentalists from various monotheistic religions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R.J. | 9/9/2013

    " I thought. .oh good a quick refresher on islam, the difference between Shi'ites and Sunnis . .couldn't finish it though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 7/27/2013

    " Very informative. Very dense and frankly kind of dry. Lots of facts in a short space but that doesn't make for the easiest reading experience. But it's fascinating to see where it all came from and she does a good job of presenting it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Joyce | 11/5/2012

    " Boy, did I have a lot of misconceptions that were cleared up by this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reginald | 10/22/2012

    " This book made me seriously consider becoming a Muslim. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tyler | 10/2/2012

    " Interesting topic, but I feel like it is probably handled better elsewhere. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 9/24/2012

    " A great intoduction to Islam, very readable and will leave you wanting to learn more about the history of the Middle East and Islam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 2/15/2012

    " for those who want to learn about Islam, this is a great introduction. A quick read and very enlightening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cuneyt | 10/25/2011

    " Good introduction. Islamic history is a wide topic, which is easy to get lost in. Armstrong takes a picture which gives rough map to orient yourself during further reading to the novice. I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alford | 5/23/2011

    " An excellent well rounded version of Islamic history. Armstrong dulls the sharp and sharpens the dull. An excellent read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gregor | 5/2/2011

    " not a good history book, biased "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek | 4/12/2011

    " Armstrong has a lot of knowledge and she tries to stuff too much of it in this short history. Either a broader perspective or a longer book would be better. I would recommend Reza Aslan's "No god but God" over this, or at least read it before reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ziad | 2/18/2011

    " A good book about my religion, but there must be a better one out there. A book that is full of details about the LONG HISTORY of my religion Islam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 2/12/2011

    " While still a bit complicated for the novice I am, Ms Armstrong uses a pretty simple and direct manner in talking about the history of Islam. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Muhammad | 1/20/2011

    " Fakta-fakta yang tersusun rapi mengenai perjalanan dunia Islam secara kasarnya daripada zaman Nabi S.A.W. sehingga zaman kita sekarang ini. Namun, interpretasi dalam setiap peristiwa yang berlaku yang dinyatakan dalam buku ini haruslah disemak terlebih dahulu menurut kacamata dunia Islam. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sfarisbradistan | 1/19/2011

    " A bit wishy washy and extremely apologetic. One sided in terms of the interpretation of history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/12/2011

    " I learned a lot, but had trouble keeping straight the names of people & places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 1/3/2011

    " A great intoduction to Islam, very readable and will leave you wanting to learn more about the history of the Middle East and Islam. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/1/2011

    " This book is true to it's title, and a good short history of Islam. I was hoping it would have more of an explanation of Islamic beliefs, but it's focused on history, so it wasn't as exciting for me as I wanted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/13/2010

    " I'm sure there's much this volume doesn't cover, but I feel I've at least got an inkling now--of the history of the Middle East, similarities and differences between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and that Sunni/Shia split that's regularly mentioned in the media. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lori | 12/11/2010

    " Ick! SOOOO Dry and several factual errors that I find surprising from a woman whose known for her scholarship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. Joyce | 12/1/2010

    " Boy, did I have a lot of misconceptions that were cleared up by this book. "

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