Comparing Muslim Societies:
Knowledge and the State in a World Civilization

Juan R. I. Cole (editor)

The University of Michigan Press 1992
A book review by Danny Yee © 1992
Both Islam and Islamic societies get rather distorted coverage in the Western media. There is a tendency to see the Muslim world as monolithic (when it actually spans a broader range of cultures than Christianity) and to think of Muslim states as "Islamic", with no understanding of the variety of ways in which Islam interacts with the state in different countries or of the complexity of such interactions. Comparing Muslim Societies is a collection of essays which provides a much broader perspective on such matters.

It contains eight broad ranging articles which are general introductions to their subjects. The references for each also provide plenty of suggestions for further reading. Some interesting aspects of the individual essays:

Comparing Muslim Societies deserves a wide readership. It will be of interest not only to students of anthropology and sociology approaching the Islamic world for the first time, but also to general readers interested in a more thoughtful and considered look at an important part of the world given scant coverage in the general media.

November 1992

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%T Comparing Muslim Societies
%S Knowledge and the State in a World Civilization
%E Cole, Juan R. I.
%I The University of Michigan Press
%D 1992
%O paperback, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 0472064495
%P xiv,328pp