Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Englishman Who Explained Muhammad and Islam...

...did so almost a century ago!
You've probably heard of him...
Yep, the guy who wrote War of the Worlds, Time Machine, Things to Come, and numerous other seminal sci-fi tales also did quite a bit of highly-acclaimed non-fiction, including the incredibly-popular Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, first published in 1919!
It caught on first in Britain and America and then throughout the rest of the Western world, selling over two million copies in its first decade of publication, receiving highly enthusiastic reviews.
(Even twenty years after its initial publication, The Outline of History was so well-known to the public that, in The Maltese Falcon, Sidney Greenstreet's malevolent Kasper Gutman tells Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade that the legend of the Falcon is true..."These are facts, historical facts, not schoolbook history, not Mr. Wells' History, but history nevertheless.")

Coming right after the carnage of World War I, the Outline was neither unduly pessimistic and cynical about the human condition nor Pollyannaish about humanity's future.
Instead, it offered an account of the development of the world's civilizations (including Asian and African, usually left out of Eurocentric "histories") up to the (then) present, to convince readers that an enlightened future depended on a clear, unprejudiced/un-nationalistic view of the past.
His look at Islam and Muhammed, found HERE, is a fascinating piece of scholarship.
I suggest you read it...with the caveat that the OCR scanning or keyboarding has a couple of glitches.
The complete Outline can be downloaded from The Gutenberg Project HERE or read and/or downloaded from Archive.Org HERE.

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Thanx for posting!

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