Related to: 'The Heirs Of The Prophet Muhammad'

Abacus

The Prophet Muhammad

The Prophet Muhammad is a hero for all mankind. In his lifetime he established a new religion, Islam; a new state, the first united Arabia; and a new literary language, the classical Arabic of the Qur'an, for the Qur'an is believed to be the word of God revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. A generation after his death he would be acknowledged as the founder of a world empire and a new civilisation. Any one of these achievements would have been more than enough to permanently establish his genius. To our early twenty-first century minds, what is all the more astonishing is that he also managed to stay true to himself and retained to his last days the humility, courtesy and humanity that he had learned as an orphan shepherd boy in central Arabia. If one looks for a parallel example from Christendom, you would have to combine the Emperor Constantine with St Francis and St Paul, an awesome prospect. Barnaby Rogerson's elegant biography not only looks directly at the life of the Prophet Muhammad, but beautifully evokes for western readers the Arabian world into which he was born in 570 AD.

Abacus

The Last Crusaders

Barnaby Rogerson

Barnaby Rogerson is the author of the four much-admired editions of Cadogan's guidebook on Morocco, and with his wife Rose Baring the two on Tunisia.

Abacus

In The Shadow Of The Sword

Tom Holland

In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world.But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate.In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.

Abacus

One Palestine, Complete

Tom Segev
author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Q&A with Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, shares her experiences of Afghanistan in this fascinating Q&A.

Abacus

Playing Cards In Cairo

Hugh Miles

PLAYING CARDS IN CAIRO is a fly-on-the-wall account - like THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL - of life (for western readers) in a strange and exotic environment. Hugh Miles lives in Cairo and is engaged to an Egyptian woman. Twice a week he plays cards with a small group of Arab, Muslim women and through this medium he explores their lives in modern Cairo, the greatest of Arab cities. It is a secretive, romantic, often deprived but always soulful existence for the women as they struggle with abusive husbands and philandering boyfriends. The book is a window onto a city - and a way of life - which is at a crucial juncture in its history. Hugh Miles, who knows the Arab world intimately, is the perfect guide.

Sphere

Holy Warrior

Read an exclusive extract here

Countdown

Read an exclusive extract from Alan Weisman’s brilliant new book, Countdown.

Read an exclusive extract

Countdown

Read an exclusive extract from Alan Weisman's brilliant new book, Countdown.

Virago

The Turkish Embassy Letters

Mary Wortley Montagu
Import Aus

Boganomics

E. Chas McSween, Enron Hubbard

From the bestselling authors of THINGS BOGANS LIKE comes a not-quite scientific study of all things bogan.E. Chas McSween et al have compiled this in-depth historical, sociological, geographic and cultural study that traces bogan culture back to society's very foundation, as well as identifying prototypical and stereotypical bogans through time. Brief discussion of the bogan of the 19th century, morphing to pre-war, then to the popularly held notion of the 'bogan' being 80s metal, flannel and Victoria Bitter. After exploring this stereotypical example they then track the leap to the 21st century bogan, clad in garish garb, holding their nationalism close to their chest and slavishly following every celebrity trend in magazines.BOGANOMICS is an important book as understanding is a bridge to unity. Read this book to broaden your knowlege ... or to laugh ... a lot.

Abacus

An Army At Dawn

Rick Atkinson
Abacus

Al Jazeera

author of The Summer Queen

Q&A with Elizabeth Chadwick

Read an Q&A with Elizabeth Chadwick, author of The Summer Queen

Sphere

Pendragon

Jack Whyte

A matchless warriorA true friend lostA love like none beforeThe son of a Celtic King and a Romano-British aristocrat, Uther Pendragon learns early to respect honour, nobility and integrity, but he also learns to love to fight, and to kill when necessary. His closest boyhood friend is his cousin Merlyn Britannicus, and together they will set Britain on a new path.But Camelot attracts the envy and dislike of others, among them Gulrhys Lot, King of Cornwall, and Lot's hunger for power and conquest will come to define Uther's life as his friendship with his cousin Merlyn disintegrates.While war ravages the land, Uther seems invincible, but he is powerless against the love that will undo him; a love that will seal his place in legend as he becomes father to Arthur, High King of Britain.Discover the most authentic telling of the Arthurian legend ever written

Abacus

Leo The African

Amin Maalouf
Abacus

The Mitford Girls

Mary S. Lovell
Abacus

Silver Linings

Martin Fletcher
Piatkus

Madras On Rainy Days

Samina Ali

Layla is torn between clashing identities - the dutiful Muslim daughter her immigrant parents raised her to be, the Indian she fantasizes she is, and the free, independent woman America has awakened in her. At nineteen, her parents inform Layla that a marriage has been arranged for her. Her wedding will be in India, to a handsome, ambitious Indian engineer, who knows nothing of Layla's American self and who has some potent secrets of his own. A stunned Layla submits reluctantly. In the heat and noise of Hyderabad, as her wedding looms, her behaviour becomes more erratic. To Layla's surprise, the ancient and elaborate wedding rituals, her groom's physical beauty, and the warm welcome of her new family fill her with a sense of belonging she has never known before. Yet on her honeymoon in Madras, with the monsoon rains drumming ceaselessly outside, the full horror of the devil's bargain she has made is revealed, forcing her to make painful decisions about her roles as a Muslim, a wife and a woman. Set against the backdrop of mounting Hindu-Muslim tensions, MADRAS ON RAINY DAYS, lyrically evokes the complexities of life behind the chador.