In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power

In This Review

In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power

By Daniel Pipes
Basic Books, 1983
359 pp. $22.50
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Daniel Pipes' ambitious work on the same theme of Islamic resurgence stands out for its historic sweep, its focus on the political aspects, and the cohesion that comes with single authorship. He sets out to explain the "complex interaction among Islam's ideals, Muslim historical experience, Western civilization, and current events." In general, he succeeds, although the Western mind's difficulty in grasping Islam occasionally defeats a reader in the face of the author's best efforts. Pipes, with no apparent ax to grind, is not afraid to predict that religious fundamentalism, as the answer to modern political and economic challenges, will fail as the oil boom (to which it owed so much) fades, and that in retrospect the Islamic revival will appear as a transient aberration.