The House of Wisdom

The House of Wisdom

How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance

Book - 2011
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Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011, c2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781594202797
Branch Call Number: 509.1767 AL105H 2010
Characteristics: xxix, 302 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm


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ser_library May 08, 2014

i read every word, and learned lots. The presentation was clear and encourages all readers to learn more with open minds.

Sunny39 Jan 22, 2012

didn't finish because it's very scholarly and long, but i agree totally with its premise. also, well researched.

BigMoose Nov 08, 2011

It was a bit disappointing that Al-Khalili focused on quantity rather than quality in his account of Arabic/Islamic scientific achievement. A massive number of names, dates and places revealed precious little about any one individual's singular accomplishments. I am newly informed of their history and the expansive nature of their influence, but I am left unconvinced of (what I suspect is) their wished for "peer-equivalent" greatness with European scholars, which Al-Khalili (again, as I suspect) so desperately wanted to reveal.

All in all, I appreciate Al-Khalili's premise and recognize the difficulty in bringing it convincingly to light in a Western, European-centric or English language focused world. No doubt, there were and are philosophers of major prowess in other parts of the world before, during and after the Renaissance. Too bad Al-Khalili's telling of their stories wasn't more compelling.


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