The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam

Overview

The Assassins is a comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative account of history's first terrorists. An offshoot of the Ismaili Shi'ite sect of Islam, the Assassins were the first group to make systematic use of murder as a political weapon. Established in Iran and Syria in the 11th and 12th centuries, they aimed to overthrow the existing Sunni order in Islam and replace it with their own, by terrorizing their foes with a series of dramatic murders of Islamic leaders, as well as some of the Crusaders, who ...
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The Assassins

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Overview

The Assassins is a comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative account of history's first terrorists. An offshoot of the Ismaili Shi'ite sect of Islam, the Assassins were the first group to make systematic use of murder as a political weapon. Established in Iran and Syria in the 11th and 12th centuries, they aimed to overthrow the existing Sunni order in Islam and replace it with their own, by terrorizing their foes with a series of dramatic murders of Islamic leaders, as well as some of the Crusaders, who brought their name and fame back to Europe. Professor Lewis traces the history of this radical Islamic sect, studying its teachings and its influence on Muslim thought. Particularly insightful in light of the rise of the terrorist attacks in the US and in Israel, this account of the group that lent its name to politically motivated murder places recent events in historical perspective and sheds new light on the fanatic mind.

Traces the history of a sect of people from the Levant Mountains from the 13th century to the present day.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465004980
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 11/7/2002
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 767,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Lewis

About the Author:
Bernard Lewis is Director of the Annenberg Institute, Philadelphia, and Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies and long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. He is the author of The Jews of Islam, Arabs in History, and many other books about the Middle East.

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    1. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 31, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of London, 1936; Diplome des Etudes Semitiques, University of Paris, 1937; Ph.D., University of London,

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface to the 2003 Edition
1 The Discovery of the Assassins 1
2 The Ismailis 20
3 The New Preaching 38
4 The Mission in Persia 64
5 The Old Man of the Mountain 97
6 Means and Ends 125
Notes 141
Index 161
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Read like a thesis paper

    Illuminating and very informative. The writing is not chronologically arranged so it is difficult to move back and forth between time and place. The book should more properly be termed a history of the Ismaili sect(s).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    One sided

    This book is nothing but a one-sided view indicating author's inability to understand religion from its anthropological perspective. The work is not scholarly as it is misleading. I suggest titles such as 'The Fatimids and their traditions of learning' and 'The Assassin legends: Myths of the Ismailis'. After reading these two you will have a very different perspective of Ismialis, a well-respected and liberal sect of Islam that is known for its tradition of international service and philanthropy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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