What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, Paperback Book

What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A bestselling account of why the Islamic world has been losing the conflict with the West for 300 years - and the frustration and humiliation this has produced. For many centuries, Islam was the world's greatest, most open, most enlightened, most creative, most powerful civilisation. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and in the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life.

Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed, and he provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil.

Some Middle Easterners asked not 'who did this to us?' but 'where did we go wrong?'; while others fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, both internal and external - and the results are very much with us today.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages, 14
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Middle Eastern history
  • ISBN: 9780753816752



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Review by

A must read for those interested in Islam, its background and development until our present time.

Review by

John Bagot Glubb being dead, Bernard Lewis took over trying to explain to the West the folly of proceeding on a simple cash and corruption approach to the major oil supply and its culture. But no one listened when things were going calmly, and when a crisis blew up, there was no time to thwart demonization by a wiser long-term policy. Lewis advances the theory, since borne out by events, that Islam wanted to modernize, but not to westernize. Perhaps we can avert the harsher possibilities by using this book as a blueprint for present and future policies.