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Today, as a new Islamic revolution faces a Western response, this classic exploration of fundamentalist Islamic religious leader Muhammad Ahmad (1844-1885) deserves a second look. The self-proclaimed "Mahdi," or end-time redeemer of Islam, Ahmad and his armies took back control of the Sudan from foreign conquerors in the late 19th century only to himself be defeated, his rebellion thwarted. Students of the history of the Sudan and of Islam in recent centuries will be fascinated by this 1932 work, which reveals as much about European reaction to aggressive Islamism as it does about one of the great figures of the faith itself. Austrian journalist RICHARD ARNOLD BERMANN (1883-1939) is also the author of Home from the Sea: Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa.