For many centuries Islam was the world's greatest, most open, most enlightened, most creative, most powerful civilisation. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and in the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life.
Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed, and he provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. Some Middle Easterners asked not 'who did this to us?' but 'where did we go wrong?'; while others fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, both internal and external. The results are very much with us today.