The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
2 Reviews
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.

       Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
       Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
       Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.

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The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

User Review  - Victoria Caplinger - Book Verdict

Weaving psychological interpretation with history, this readable biography of Muhammad offers a balanced portrait of a complex man and his journey to becoming a religious figure. (LJ 5/15/13) Read full review

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User Review  - KarenHerndon - LibraryThing

This is just a very beautifully written nonfiction story about the life of Muhammad that reads easily like fiction. Totally changed my stero- typical image of this prophet! Ths has to be one of the best books i have read this year and I would highly recommend it. Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Lesley Hazleton reported on the Middle East from Jerusalem for more than a dozen years, and has written for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and Harper's, among other publications. Her last book, After the Prophet, was a finalist for the PEN-USA book Award. Hazleton lives in Seattle.

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