William R. Polk taught Arabic literature and history at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, served on the Policy Planning Council under President Kennedy, negotiated the Egyptian-Israeli Suez ceasefire, and founded the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs. He has written nineteen books.
This is history as Herodotus imagined it-a brilliant and very readable retelling of the past to explain the present. Crusade and Jihad recounts the experiences of the world's Muslim peoples at the hands of British, Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and American imperialists. It is essential reading for anyone trying to understand today's violent interactions between the realm of Islam and the former colonial powers. - Chas Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1989-92) and author, inter alia, of Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. and America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East -- Chas Freeman A brilliant study, analytical and authoritative. There are few overviews that can rival the depth and the range of this work. - K.N. Chaudhuri, FBA Emeritus Professor of The History of European Expansion, European University, Florence, Italy -- K.N. Chaudhuri With rigor and sympathy, William Polk has produced a masterpiece to enlighten us all. No one who reads Crusade and Jihad will put it down without an increased knowledge and understanding of the crucial relationship between the Islamic and Western worlds. - Charles Glass, author of Tribes with Flags and Syria Burning: A Short History of a Catastrophe -- Charles Glass William Polk combines analytical powers and profound insight with a lively, accessible style. Crusade and Jihad is a pleasure for the mind. -Uri Avnery, author and peace activist -- Uri Avnery A tour de force covering centuries of history from the perspective of the people who lived in the Muslim world, Crusade and Jihad offers a fresh and urgently needed angle on the present crisis in the Middle East that you will find nowhere else. -Ilan Pappe, author of The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel -- Ilan Pappe In this magisterial treatment, William Polk cuts to the core of contemporary conflicts with the Muslim world, providing an accessible, often troubling account. -Joel Gordon,University of Arkansas, author of Nasser: Hero of the Arab Nation -- Joel Gordon