Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected, and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting. By revealing that parallel other narrative to the chapter we are living today, this book will help us to make sense of today s world conflicts. Ansary traces the history of the Muslim world from pre-Mohammedan days through 9/11, introducing the people, events, and key turning points, not only in terms of what happened, but also in terms of how those events were understood and interpreted.