Friday, January 07, 2005

Review of Bernard Lewis' The Assassins

Bernard Lewish is one of our leading thinkers about the Middle Mast. His 1967 book The Assassins is a contribution to the field of medieval Islamic history. It chronicles a sect of Ismailis, who were known as the Assassins, and were likely the world's first real terrorists. They were syatematic in their methodology of political assassination.

Personally I do not have sufficient training in medieval Islamic history to fully appreciate the book. Too many of the names were very unfamiliar and I think that it would have been better had I read a good overview of medieval Islam before I went in to a detail such as this.

It is not a bad book, but for I would not say if is for the lay audience, such as myself, unless you have some good background.

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