Jerry Z. Muller, a leading historian of capitalism, provides in his provocative new book a fresh look at a subject that, to say the least, has been both thoroughly misunderstood and a forbidden, even taboo, topic.
What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.
With religious passions inflaming and complicating politics worldwide, the very project of a secular future is threatened. In “The Stillborn God,” Mark Lilla reveals the roots of the age-old quest to bring political life under God’s authority. He also explores how modern Western thinkers found a way to free politics from theological power and build barriers against destructive religious fanaticism.
Posted on Dec 20, 2007
Zachary Karabell is the author of several books, including “Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence in the Middle East,” published by Alfred A. Knopf.