The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual
by Clifford E. Bosworth
New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. 389 pp. $45
Reviewed by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Quarterly
Hegel wrote in the Philosophy of History that "In its spread Mahometanism founded many kingdoms and dynasties. On this boundless sea there is a continual onward movement, nothing abides firm." Bosworth, professor emeritus at the University of Manchester in England, offers detailed confirmation of this observation in his very helpful listing of the rulers in 186 states across the entire Muslim world. Here the nuts and bolts of Muslim political history are on display; in addition to the names and dates of rulers, the author provides reliable capsule histories of each dynasty's ups and downs.
The odd title (no, the dynasties are not new) refers to the fact that Bosworth previously had published The Islamic Dynasties, 1 a first and smaller version of the current publication. Over nearly three decades, this reviewer had made many marginal markings in that book and was pleased to find that not only had the mistakes been corrected but that most of his wished-for additions (such as an indication of family relationships between rulers or the inclusion of West African and Southeast Asian dynasties) had been made. One remaining plea for the next edition: include all extant dynasties, such as the Sabahs of Kuwait and the Thanis of Qatar.
Related Topics: Daniel Pipes | March 1997 MEQ
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