Nation and Its Fringers

None of the ideas/ideologies of the modern age have aroused so much passion and emotion as has ‘nation-statism’. Despite the fact that it has caused unprecedented human tragedy in the form of genocide, displacement, dispossession, destructions and devastations; and despite the claims of its demise in the face of globalization, the nation-state continues to remain a dominant socio-political frame within which human beings organize themselves.

Documenting History

I must admit to having agreed to review this book with a high degree of trepidation. How could a single volume hope to cover in 658 pages, so vast an area with all its dimensions, conflict and, most of all the variety and the depth of its impact on civilizations across the world? And yet, by this singular work Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California at Berkeley, has, in a book more compact, placed himself in the recording of Islamic history on a pedestal equivalent to Gibbon’s for that of Rome.