First published in the UK by Atlantic Books in 2009. Audiobook edition narrated by Lyndam Gregory published by Audible Studios in 2010.
One of my Essential General Election Reads 2017.
Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Twenty years ago, the image of burning copies of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses held aloft by thousand-strong mobs of protestors became an internationally familiar symbol of anger and offence. Kenan Malik examines how the Rushdie affair transformed the debate worldwide on multiculturalism, tolerance, and free speech, helped fuel the rise of radical Islam and pointed the way to the horrors of 9/11 and 7/7.
This is a well-researched, intelligent history of the changing attitudes to race and religion in the UK and the wider world over the sixty years from 1950 until 2010. Malik clearly describes the series of events, explains their links and significance, and quotes a variety of sources and interviews enabling the listener to understand the many relevant viewpoints. I liked that he maintains a balanced approach to the information given, avoiding the obvious traps of such an emotive subject.
Although the book is complicated, Malik presents his case clearly and this is not some dry history of names and dates, but an engaging tale to which I enjoyed listening. So enjoyed, in fact, that I now have a shortlist of other quoted books and authors to search out in order to learn more about this aspect of British history.
My only criticism would be that the narrator, while he did a good job of the many voices and accents, did occasionally stumble over phrases and perhaps could have been allowed to re-record these passages?
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Kenan Malik / Sociology / Books from England