Author: Maxime Rodinson, Anne Carter (trans), Gerhard Bowering (intro)
Publisher: The Easton Press, 1989
Condition: Hardcover, full leather. In excellent condition except former owner’s embossing on flypage.
About the book (from wikipedia and publisher):
A secular biography of the Islamic prophet written by prominent French non-Muslim Marxist atheist scholar Maxime Rodinson in 1961. It focuses on materialist conditions of emergence of Islam.
In Egypt, the book was in the middle of censorship controversies in 1998 and its publisher, the American University in Cairo had been forced to stop publishing it.
Drawing on wide-ranging scholarship and imaginative insight into the Prophet’s personality, family, background, and wider society, Rodinson’s Muhammad offers a vivid account of how he spread the word of Islam, created a sect and state, and defeated his enemies, establishing the first great Muslim military power—a power which was soon to control territory stretching all the way from the Pyrenees to the borders of China. For anyone who wants to understand the historical roots of one of the world’s great religions, Rodinson’s Muhammad provides al guide to a fascinating and timely subject.
About the author (from wikipedia):
Maxime Rodinson was a French Marxist historian, sociologist and orientalist. He was the son of a Russian-Polish clothing trader and his wife who both died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. After studying oriental languages, he became a professor of Ethiopian (Ge’ez) at EPHE (École Pratique des Hautes Études, France). He was the author of a body of work, including the book Muhammad, a biography of the prophet of Islam.
Rodinson joined the French Communist Party in 1937 for “moral reasons”, but later turned away after the party’s Stalinist drift. He was expelled from the party in 1958. He became well known in France when he expressed sharp criticism of Israel, particularly opposing the settlement policies of the Jewish state.