Views about the Arab / Israeli dispute are highly polarised, and the history is strongly contested. Israel's birth saw civil war between Jews and Palestinians and war between Israel and the surrounding Arab states. Benny Morris has written a detailed, well documented and very readable account of the conflict. Everyone, regardless of their existing views of the dispute, will learn from reading it.
25 Muslims write about what they were doing on 7 July 2005, how they were affected by this terrible crime, and how they feel about it five years later. I contributed so much to this book that I cannot review it. However, you can read the full text of my chapter, the book introduction and profiles of all the other contributors.
This book is an important part of the Curriculum for Cohesion project. It constructs a philosophical framework for thinking about Islam which is then applied to the teaching of history, religious education and citizenship. The book is based on high quality research and detailed literature search, and the theory is developed rigorously. It requires the reader to think hard, but should be accessible to any university graduate.
Relations between Jews, Muslims (and Christians) have been of vital significance since the rise of Islam. Accurate historical knowledge is indispensable, as so many protagonists today distort history for their own ends. Accordingly this book will be a vital resource. In over 1,000 pages it brings together many experts in a book that is encyclopaedic in its coverage.
This book recounts the lives of the first four Indians to serve in the UK Parliament. The era of these pioneers, late 19th and early 20th century is now long gone. However we should honour the memories of these ground-breaking pioneers. Three of them, all Parsis, became MPs while the fourth, a Hindu, became a life peer and government minister. The book does well at bringing them to life, so that the reader will remember them.
This is a work of fiction in the form of a thriller, set mainly in Jerusalem, in the midst of Israel / Palestine peace negotiations. The author uses the book to set out his vision of the underlying unity of all religions. It is exciting and captivating to read, with an almost magical quality that leaves one feeling uplifted. It reminds us that good things are possible as well as bad.
Britain's ethnic composition has changed dramatically in the last 60 years. 14% of the British population now belongs to an ethnic minority, projected to increase by 2051 to 20-30%. The 2011 national census and other sources provide very detailed information which this report condenses into 97 very readable pages. It is immensely informative.
The Quran is the primary source of authority in Islam. The second source is Hadith. Hadith are oral accounts of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This book explains how they were collected and verified. It is very easy to read and should be accessible to everyone who wants to learn more about hadith.
Hadith are oral accounts of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Their authentication has traditionally relied almost entirely upon assessing the chain of narrators. However the author considers more emphasis needs to be given to assessing the text of the Hadith. The book is very clearly written, short, and easy to read and I recommend it highly.
Why do so many investors, including investment professionals, perform poorly? The author contends that it is due to poor psychology, in other words behavioural errors. The book is clearly written, easy to read, and makes its case in detail. The author also shows us how behavioural mistakes can be minimised. Reading and applying it should improve the performance of all investors.
A short and very readable book setting out Mr Gove's views regarding the threat posed by "Islamist terrorism." Opinions about the book are very polarised. I think the author is right to emphasise the importance of the terrorist ideology.
Matthew Parris is a well-known journalist and was a Conservative MP for 7 years after 1979. This is his autobiography up to the year 2000. It is extremely readable and fascinating and gives an excellent insight into the Conservative Party.
This short work of fiction is by my eldest son. He never lets me read anything before it is published, so I came to it in the same way as every other reader will. I found it entertaining and easy to read albeit somewhat gory. It also has a serious message about the dangers of religious fanaticism. It passes the key test for fiction; I always wanted to know what happened next until I finished it!
Scientific knowledge of genetics is less than 200 years old. However most human societies have long banned certain consanguineous relationships while allowing others. This book comprehensively covers the science and the social policy issues. It matters because many people are unaware of the serious genetic risks of marrying one's biological relatives. However people without a strong science education will find it hard to read.
The author spent over 25 years in the Metropolital Police and founded the Muslim Contact Unit. He explains in detail how Islamists helped reclaim the Finsbury Park Mosque from Abu Hamza, and how salafis countered Al Qaeda recruitment on the streets of Brixton.
This short novel is easy to read. It illustrates some of the identity issues Britons of Pakistani origin face in our society. Readers of white British and of Pakistani origin should find it interesting.
As well as his Tarzan stories, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a large amount of science fiction, and some historical fiction. I read almost all of his non-Tarzan writings when younger. I bought this biography when I was about 26 and read it about 43 years later! It is the definitive authorised biography of one of the 20th century's most successful authors, based on full access to his personal papers and his children, and took over a decade to research and write. It is very easy to read.
This short book gives a vivid account of a momentous period in Indian history. In 1799, the 19-year old Ranjit Singh created an empire in the Punjab, led by Sikhs but including Muslims and Hindus, that he ruled for 40 years.
This book is based upon detailed interviews with 12 private investors. Two are identified, while the others use pseudonyms. The anonymity allows them to speak frankly about how they became full time investors. Everyone will learn something from this book, regardless of the extent of their previous involvement with investing.
Gorgon Street girls is a work of fiction, a relatively short 140 pages. As fiction, I do not want to spoil the plot. A gang of girls spend their time fighting other gangs while at the same time some of them have genuine artistic talent and aspirations. Overall, the key test with any work of fiction is: "Do I want to turn the next page?" With this book I always wanted to know what happened next. I was genuinely moved by a peroration near the end of the book, but I cannot say more without risking spoiling the plot.
The traditional view is that Aishah was married to the Prophet (pbuh) when she was nine. Some Muslims therefore regard child marriage as commendable. Meanwhile non-Muslims cite her age of marriage to denigrate Islam and the Prophet. This 24 page booklet looks at the evidence and concludes that Aishah was most likely 19 when she married.
Frank Miller is the author of such famous graphic novels as "300", "Sin City" and "Batman: Dark Knight Returns", all of which have been filmed. However this 120 page graphic novel has cardboard characters, is filled with anti-Muslim propaganda and is best ignored.
This is a short, gripping, fast-paced novel. It intertwines the story of two families, from opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum, but both of which have Pakistani connections. One is the family of the Home Secretary, the other the family of a deceased jihadist. It is a love story for our times, with radicalisation and Islamist extremism as the backdrop. Once you start reading it, you do not want to stop.
In this short but passionately written book Oz argues that both Jews and Palestinians have legitimate claims to Palestine. He considers that the only solution is compromise in the form of the two state solution. Many on both sides of the dispute are fanatics with closed minds; this book should help to open such minds.
Immigration is a key issue for most British voters, and much of the debate around it is highly polarised. This book is from British Future which is a think tank that believes in building a modern British identity and promoting integration. It is based upon detailed polling and focus group discussion and I regard it as a valuable contribution to the immigration debate.
Business English normally requires short sentences without any structural complexity. However that is not how one writes literature. This short book is a delight to read and introduces the reader to some wonderful sentences. It will improve everyone's ability to write good English.
It was never inevitable that Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Nor was it inevitable that he would win the general election against the Democratic candidate. Since his shock victory, many explanations have been written which are mainly based on intuition. This book, by three American politics academics, is different. It looks rigorously at the data, and provides the best explanation I have seen of why Trump won, and what the way he won means for America.
Sahera Patel grew up in Bolton and is now a mother aged 40. This easy to read autobiography provides real insight into growing up as a Muslim girl in Bolton in the 1970's. I enjoyed reading it and wrote the foreword to the book.
Sir Martin Gilbert is an eminent historian and Winston Churchill's official biographer. He covers the period from the beginning of Islam to the end of the 20'th century. Under Muslim rulers, special rules applied to Jews (and Christians). Overall, Jews were better treated than Jews in Christian Europe, but periods of tolerance were interspersed with periods of persecution. In the 20'th century, the rise of Zionism led to increasing persecution of Jews by Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa, culminating in the expulsion of their Jewish populations.
This book sets out to give a historical account of the rise of Islam. This requires evidence in the form of manuscripts, coins, buildings, inscriptions and other tangible remains which the author emphasises are sparse. The earliest written Muslim histories date from a later period. The author first covers the prior history of the Eastern Roman and Persian Empires so that he can put Islam into the historical context of the Middle East. He then addresses the available historical evidence. In his view the Quran originated when Muslims believe, and Muhammad (pbuh) was in Medina. However he considers that Islam did not originate in Mecca but instead between Medina and Palestine.
Sam Harris is a well-known atheist commentator while Maajid Nawaz is a former Muslim extremist who now chairs the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam. This book contains an extended dialogue between them on whether Islam is compatible with tolerance. It is short, very easy to read, and gives real insight into the issues.
Due to terrorism, many non-Muslims associate Islam primarily with violence. Meanwhile many Muslims focus on the rituals of Islam while ignoring their responsibility to other people. This book, for which I wrote the preface, cites the Quran and Hadith to demonstrate the essential Islamic obligation to serve all humanity, Muslim and non-Muslim. It is part of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's "Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter Terrorism."
Kung is one of the world's leading Roman Catholic theologians. This book is part of a trilogy on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While Kung writes as a deeply committed Christian, he provides a genuinely sympathetic and detailed coverage of the origins of Islam, its history and its present day challenges. The book is comprehensive and authoritative, but still very easy to read.
1st Ethical put in significant effort to enable this book, which has 11 authors as well as the editor, to be published. It is aimed at professionals new to Islamic banking and finance, and at students at undergraduate level and above. I found it interesting to read, but conclude that it fails the objectives it set itself. As well as the review, there is a response from the Editor Tarek El Diwany.
This is my favourite book on Islamic finance and provides the reader with a sound grounding in the Quranic and Hadith sources before going on to analyse futures and options. It is the book I always recommend to people who are new to Islamic finance.
A short and very readable introduction to the way Islamic Law is derived from its sources. The author The author believes that we need to interpret the Quran afresh for the modern world, rather than feeling bound by traditional interpretations.
Stuart Stevens has been a Republican all of his adult life. For decades he has been a political strategist, working to elect Republican candidates at all levels, including presidential campaigns. His disgust with the Republican Party's embrace of Donald Trump led him to reflect on the Republican Party more generally. He has concluded that in his career he deceived both himself and the country.
The author is professor of molecular genetics and director of the Institute for Genome Science and Policy's Center for Population Genomics and Pharmacogenetics, Duke University, USA. He has written a short and gripping book which is accessible to everyone regardless of scientific or religious background.
The early history of Christianity is not well known by most Muslims, or indeed by most Christians. This book explains who doctrines such as the Trinity and salvation by the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus on the cross entered the early Christian church. Most Christians are also unaware of how much coverage Jesus gets in the Quran.
This graphic novel is by my eldest son but I was only allowed to see it after it was published. I found it quite amusing. Despite being humorous, it gives a disturbing insight into the world-view of people who want to be jihadis.
The author is a trained anthropologist. Starting in September 2008, he and his team spent nine months on fieldwork travelling the length and breadth of America. They met with around 2,000 subjects, Muslim and non-Muslim. That makes this project the largest ever survey of America's Muslims. It is illuminating and full of insights.
Scientific knowledge of the body and its molecular processes is advancing very rapidly. The author is at the forefront of this research at Harvard University's Medical School. He explains our current understanding of ageing, and how it might be delayed or even reversed. Reading the book has made me change my lifestyle. Reading it, and acting upon the new knowledge, could extend your life.
Integration poses challenges for many countries including the UK. The word "integration" itself has many contested meanings. The Demos think tank has been focusing on the issue and one output is this collection of short essays which is well worth reading. It is free to download.
Lord Ashcroft was at the heart of Conservative campaign strategy from 2005 - 2010. He gives a fascinating, short and very readable insight into how the Conservative Party needed to change, and why it just failed to win an overall majority.
Pete Comley wrote this free book to share what he learned about why investors underperform the stock market index. In it he explains in very simple language why investors go wrong and recommends how they should change their behaviour.
The author is a Palestinian Christian lawyer who for decades has fought legal cases against Israeli land expropriations in the West Bank. He writes about seven walks in the West Bank, sharing his love of the countryside and his sense of loss as it is stolen.
This book is probably the leading work on the subject in English. In 500 very readable pages, the author explains how Islamic law is developed from the original sources of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). It helps one to understand the diversity and depth of Islamic thought.
In this short paper, Dr Hayward reviews what the Quran says about when Muslims are permitted to fight and the rules which apply. He shows that these rules are almost identical to the Christian "Just War" concept.
This book is the source of the radical view that the Quran was not composed when generally believed, but around 200 years later, and in Mesopotamia rather than in Western Arabia. It is written in obscure academic language and very hard to read. I found it unconvincing and severely flawed.
Maajid Nawaz is the Chairman and co-founder of Quilliam. He spent four years inside Egyptian prisons for his political beliefs. This autobiography vividly takes us into his life, from childhood to today. It is a compelling read, as well as giving insights into the mind of a radical.
Deciding what types of investment you should hold matters far more than your specific investment selections. Your decision depends on your investment objectives and your attitude to risk. This short book teaches you about the issue in a methodical but entertaining way.
UKIP is the most significant new political party since the rise of the Labour Party. UKIP supporters are often believed to be entirely disaffected Tories. The book details the history of UKIP, and looks at who supports it. It concludes that UKIP supporters are very different from the supporters of the other three main parties.
The main author of this book, Sara Khan, has practical experience of preventing young people being radicalised. The book covers the main groups in the UK which promote an extreme and intolerant version of Islam and shows how the Government's Prevent programme has been systematically maligned by its opponents. It also profiles the many unsung heroes who are promoting an inclusive vision of Islam in Britain.
This is a short work of fiction where Palestinian terrorists smuggle an atomic bomb into Jerusalem with the help of a Palestinian "sleeper." It is very easy to read, and quite gripping. Accordingly I recommend it as mental relaxation. It also has an important message of reconciliation.
This book comprises 14 independent chapters written by academic experts on the Quran, both Muslim and non-Muslim. It is an excellent short introduction to the study of the Quran, and is very easy to read.
The Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim tower in reputation above other Hadith collections. Most Muslims regard them as canonical texts. However, when they were first compiled, they encountered some controversy. Their canonical status took several centuries to acquire. Professor Brown reviews the history in a book that combines being authoritative with being very readable and accessible to the layman.
The title of this book has probably influenced far more people than have ever read it. It is often cited as evidence of unavoidable conflict between Islam and the West. On its own terms, the message of the book is much more mixed, foreseeing conflict between many civilisations. However the book's dystopian future shows no signs of being realised. It should be seen as part of a genre of "declinist" books which have been around for almost a century.
I bought this book primarily because I knew Guy Spier. It reveals that we have a surprising number of interests in common. The book is short, easy to read, informative and the author is very open about himself. I believe that it should make every reader a better investor.
After America's War of Independence, the 13 newly independent states set up a confederacy. This did not work well, and the Constitutional Convention came up with a draft US Constitution as a negotiated compromise. The three authors explain in 85 papers why it should be adopted. Their work is amongst the deepest writing on how representative government should be organised taking account of human nature.
The author has been an expert witness on Islamic theology in over 20 terrorism trials. He is also an expert on critical realism, and the founder of Islamic critical realism. The book addresses a question that is vital for both politics and security. It provides the clearest thinking about these distinctions that I have seen anywhere.
Saving and investing matter for all except the very poorest in our society. Unfortunately there are serious problems getting impartial advice, so people need to learn for themselves. This book is my recommendation as the best place to start. It is simply the best book I know for the new investor. The author is a well-known economist, who writes well and seeks to share his knowledge.
Why does capitalism work in the West, but fail in so many other countries? In the 1990s Hernando de Soto and his colleagues went fact-finding. They went into the streets of developing and former communist nations to learn what real people are achieving inside and outside the formal economy. They found that even poor people in such countries have assets and savings which could be used for successful capitalism, but nevertheless these countries are underdeveloped. In this book they summarise their findings and explain the key changes underdeveloped countries need to make to transform their economies.
The internet gives ordinary citizens the power to publish material that can be read by everyone in the world who has computer access. Many commentators have argued that this is democratising public discourse, since the old media such as newspapers and TV concentrated power in the hands of only a few publishers. The author demonstrates with detailed research that this view is incorrect because although it is easy to speak in cyberspace, it is very difficult to be heard.
Hiding a Jew risked death for you and your family. Most people looked the other way, but some risked everything to help complete strangers. How do people make these choices? It is a fascinating short book, and very readable.
The authors have written the first history of how History has been taught in English schools from 1900 to 2010. The book is very easy to read and helps one to think clearly about this vital issue. Afer all, we are our history.
Muhammad Asad was born as Leopold Weiss in Poland, but became one of the most famous Muslims of the twentieth century. This autobiography covers his first 32 years. It paints a vivid picture of his early life, recreates the Middle East of the 1920's, explains what brought him to Islam, and reflects upon the radical message of the Prophet (pbuh).
Marwan Masher is a former Foreign Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan, with obvious deep knowledge of the Arab world. He gives a short, readable and insightful survey of the main Arab countries, their problems, and how they needs to change. There is also a video of him being interviewed at the book launch by Michael Binyon.
Warren Buffett is one of the world's richest men, and almost certainly its most famous investor. This 838 page authorised biography paints a very moving picture of the man, as well as recounting his business successes and philosophy.
Some groups in America are clearly much more successful than others. The authors investigate why and identify three characteristics, all of which are needed to make individuals in a group successful. They are a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control; together the Triple Package. Reading the book I could see the impact of these personality characteristics in my own life.
World War 1 was the first truly global war. Muslims from many countries and many European colonies made a major contribution to the Allied War effort. Much of that has been forgotten. This book reminds us of their dedication and sacrifice, is beautifully presented, well illustrated, and easy to read.
Many countries have heavy taxes on tobacco, alcohol and gambling. These are often justified by arguing that smokers, drinkers and gamblers impose costs on the rest of society. The author looks at the hard evidence and disproves these justifications. This 50 page booklet from the Adam Smith Institute can be downloaded free.
This is the most definitive study I know of investment returns over the last century. The authors look at equities, bonds, treasury bills, inflation and currencies for 16 countries. The book is very clearly written and the high quality colour charts and tables make the data easy to absorb.
Since the Eisenhower era, US politics has become increasingly polarised. In the legislature Democratic and Republican senators and congressmen are far less likely to vote for policies promoted by the other party. Grassroots Democrats and Republicans feel increasingly hostile towards each other. This book provides a clear explanation of how and why this has happened, grounded in solid data.
His role at Yale University's endowment fund shows how well Charles Ellis understands investing over the long term. In this book, he gives clear guidance that can be implemented by anyone. He focuses on understanding yourself and your objectives. Everyone should read this book before committing themselves to any investments.
Leadership is vital to the success of organisations. Accordingly the authors, who are both business school academics, have spent much time researching successful and unsuccessful leaders. From this they have identified some key characteristics and behaviours of successful leaders and explain these in a very readable manner. The book should encourage reflection in every leader and potential leader who reads it.