Michael Cook

Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies
Interim Director, Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies (2018-2019)
On Leave 2020-21

Field: Near Eastern Studies
Interests: Islamic history and culture 

Michael Cook joined the Near Eastern Studies Department in 1986 after teaching for 20 years at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He stood in as acting director of the Center in 2018-19. His longest book is Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2000), and one of his shortest is The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2000). Though neither book is devoted to Iran, its history and culture figure significantly in both. He is currently working on a one-volume history of the Muslim world from the beginning to around 1800. At an undergraduate level, he offers survey courses on Near Eastern and Islamic history, while his graduate teaching is designed to teach students how to work with pre-modern Arabic historical and religious texts. During much of his time at Princeton, he has served as director of graduate studies in his department.

Selected Publications

Book Cover Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective - Royals on horsebackAncient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.






 


Book Cover - The New Cambridge History of Islam - green book jacket with textThe New Cambridge History of Islam
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.


 


 


 


Book Cover - Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought - A miniature by Shaykzada in which students pay varying levels of attention to a preacherCommanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

 


 


 


Book Cover - The Koran: A Very Short Introduction - Midnight blue and plum paint separated by a gray bandThe Koran: A Very Short History
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000