What Went Wrong by Bernard Lewis

What Went Wrong by Bernard Lewis


What went wrong is a book written by Bernard Lewis as he tried to review the Western impact and Middle Eastern of which the Middle Eastern commanded a global position for many years only to fall behind the West almost in all areas such as; political, military, intellectual development, scientific, economic and artistic (Benard, 2001). This book is about the society as seen when Kemal Atatürk is asking whether there is a chance to fix thesocietal problem. A society is generally people living together in organized communities, with laws and traditions determining the way those people behave towards each other while culture is a combination of beliefs, ideas and the ways how people behave in a particular group of location or organization.

This book is important because it highlights the effect of ignoring a society which is basically ignoring people within the society. Lewis outlined the agony of two Muslims; Kemal Atatürk and Ayatollah Khomeini who after ignoring their society began lamenting by asking such questions as; "what did we do wrong, can we be able to fix this and who did this to us”. As the Muslim society tried to look for solutions without any success, they ended up forming radical Muslim groups such as Iran’s ayatollahs and Sadat’s assassins. That’s why the book is important to the society as it helps protect from forming groups which end up being destructive.

The cultural insight described in this book is well seen when Muslim tried to compare themselves with the outside world through music and art, women positions and the civil society. The culture of these people is different from mine basing on religion background even though as human beings there is a common point where we belief in one God. The falling of Middle Eastern is a good example of the consequence of not understanding ones culture.

Things fall apart is a book authored by Chinua Achebe showing the transition of time and change which affected cultures in different ways. Through his writing the introduction of Western culture being into the African culture in a small society of Ibo is well illustrated. It can also be seen that the tradition as culture is swallowed by Christianity which became a lifestyle. In this book, the society and culture are used because Achebe highlights how culture crashed with other cultures to an extent of killing some cultures which ended up affecting the society where these people lived.

This book is of great importance to the society because it shows how ones culture and society are important and need to be respected. It also shows that there are other cultures which are better and should be absorbed to improve others. Through a character used in this book by the name Okonkwo it is revealed on how marriage and family systems operated in the cultural insight (Chinua, 1959). A man who is a husband to more than one wife who also happens to be brutal husband is seen in the book.

There is a similarity between their culture and ours in that men would marry more wives and also they were brutal. Colonialism was also a similarity because all were colonized. In this book African paid heavily for resisting western culture which would later become a part of them and if they had understood it they would not have gone through the brutality. The book is interesting to me because it highlights the way Africans lived before westernization.









Bernard Lewis, (2001). What went wrong?

Chinua Achebe, (1959). Things Fall Apart.