Mark Zuckerberg’s Next Big Read Is This Islamic History Book

2 minute read

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has committed to reading an important book every two weeks as part of his 2015 New Year’s resolutions, and up next is “The Muqaddimah,” a 14th century tome written by Islamic historian Ibn Khaldun.

The book, whose title translates to “The Introduction,” traces the progress of humanity while attempting to remove the biases captured in historical records and reveal the universal elements that connect us. It is often considered the most important Islamic history of the premodern world.

Kaldun, a lauded Arab scholar, is credited as one of the foundational thinkers of modern sociology, ethnography, and the philosophy of history.

One reviewer of the original English translation called it, “Undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place … the most comprehensive and illuminating analysis of how human affairs work that has been made anywhere.”

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Zuckerberg is known for his high-flying annual resolutions, which have ranged from killing his own meat to learning to speak Mandarin Chinese. This year’s challenge created a modern-day book club where Zuckerberg has encouraged other’s to join along and discuss each book on Facebook.

Here are the books he’s chosen so far:

  • “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’’t What It Used to Be,” by Moisés Naím
  • “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” by Steven Pinker
  • “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets,” by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • “On Immunity: An Inoculation,” by Eula Biss
  • “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration,” by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
  • “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” by Thomas S. Kuhn
  • “Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge,” by Michael Chwe
  • “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower,” by Henry M. Paulson
  • “Orwell’s Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest,” by Peter Huber
  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” by Michelle Alexander
  • “The Muqaddimah,” by Ibn Khaldun
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