School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9-The history of Islam from the birth of the Prophet Muhammad in 570 to the present is covered in readable detail. Child describes the spread of the religion and culture throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe and relates the Islamic people's contributions to world events, science, art, literature, and politics. The writing style is clear and easy to understand without background knowledge. Within the chapters, the text is subdivided into double-page topic treatments that include primary-source material (quotes from leaders, the Koran, or scholarly texts) and informative sidebars (biographical sketches of important people of the time). Numerous full-color photographs, reproductions, and maps add to the visually pleasing presentation. William Spencer's Islamic Fundamentalism in the Modern World (Millbrook, 1995) describes the present-day movement in more detail. The Rise of Islam is a good overview to help students become acquainted with this religion, learn how it evolved into what we know it to be today, and understand how it has interacted with Christianity throughout the ages.-Sandra L. Doggett, Linganore High School, Frederick, MD
Ilene CooperThe subject of this oversize British import is Islam and its effect on world history--the focus is definitely historical. In what must be an effort to avoid controversy, the book centers on Islam's beginning and middle, with only the final two-page spread highlighting Islam today (and not a word about Iran, Israel, or other matters that have kept Islam in the news, except for some information on Mu'ammar Gadhafi). The design is a familiar one: lots of color photographs, sidebars, and captions. One element that doesn't work very well is the sidebar quotes from primary and secondary sources. Both in content and design, they are often distracting. Still, strictly as a historical overview, this is a book that should find a place on religion shelves.
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