An Introduction To The History Of This Turbulent Region From The Beginnings Of Islam To The Present Day, This Widely Acclaimed Text By Arthur Goldschmidt Jr Is Distinguished By Its Clear Style, Broad Scope, And Balanced Treatment This Book Explores The Evolution Of Islamic Institutions And Culture, The Influence Of The West, The Modernization Efforts Of Middle Eastern Governments, The Struggle Of Various Peoples For Political Independence, The Arab Israeli Conflict, The Reassertion Of Islamic Values And Power, The Issues Surrounding The Palestinian Question, And The Post 9 11 Middle East.The Eleventh Edition Has Been Fully Revised To Reflect The Most Recent Events In, And Concerns Of, The Region, Including An Expanded And Nuanced Discussion Of The War On Terrorism And The Arab Uprisings, Coverage Of The Rise Of ISIS, And A New Chapter On The Growing Environmental Problems Of The Region In Addition, The Authors Have Incorporated New Scholarship On The Early History To Provide A Fuller Picture Of The Political Shifts And Socioeconomic Concerns Of That Time With Updated Bibliographical Sketches, Chronology And Glossary, A Concise History Of The Middle East Remains An Essential Text For Students Of Middle East History. This is a great place to start if you want to become acquainted with currents and issues in the history of the Middle East The first third of the book is a sprint through 1300 years of history At times it was hard to keep everything straight and I had to consult wikipedia, but I did finally understand the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and what Sufism is I also gained some understanding of the marginalized forms of Eastern Christianity Half of the book is concerned with the rise of Middle Eastern nations that occurred with the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and how the practice of religion and nationalism often get intertwined in practice or confused by outside observers Of equal importance during this section is the meddling by modernized nations who seek to control, or at least ensure access
I was very dissappointed in this book It is billed as the best history of the middle east, but in fact it is the typical liberal politically correct history of the middle east What is sad is that this is apparently the most used book on college campuses which shows why so many college students have no clue of reality The only reason I gave
Having not read any other full Middle Eastern histories, it s hard for me to compare this book to others from a content perspective It s clear that, while the author laments the focus of history on wars and conflicts, it is still an extremely traditional text The people that matter to the author are the world leaders and their actions, especially their actions in expanding their territory and consolidating their reign It would be interesting to go from beginning to end of the book and count the of names mentioned who were not political or military leaders aside from a few poets and a rare religious leader who didn t also lead a political movement, the total numbers would be few indeed And even leaders, if they didn t lead a national government or independent political movement, tend to get shafted I don t remember if a single Kurd or Awasi persecuted Iraqi people is mentioned by name in the entire book Sudan and Afghanistan are mentioned, but not any Sudanese or Afghanis that I can remember Nor a single Copt, not even a Coptic pope or, amazingly, UN Secretary General Boutrous Boutrous Ghali On the positive side, the book is very readable It attempts to give a fair hearing to the major events within all regions of the Middle East from the time shortly before Islam until the book s publication in the mid 1990s Getting to simultaneously see how the extremely different spheres of influence of Egypt, Persia Iran, the Ottoman Empire Turkey, Syri
It is a brilliant book It starts from the very beginning and goes all the way up to 2009 I think anyone who likes to discuss the people, countries and the problems of Middle East should read this history first This book is very brave and quite honest It is a good comprehensive overview At times I found this book quite distressing, but that is because my personal distaste for any kind of war conflict I am amazed how much bias, unfairness, greed and also stupidity exist in our world And how ignorant we are of these things.Only one thing about the book bothered me a bit which is that the authors left out a big chunk of information of 1400 1700 s times They did cover a lot of wars during this time but I think there was some other information that should have been added And I think that was left out on purpose.T
Arab PropagandaWhile the authors don t lie about the facts, they take every opportunity to shade their comments to paint Muslims in general and Arabs in particular as victims with valid grievances This is most glaring in their coverage of the Arab Israeli conflict but also extends to other Arab enemies of the West They are without exception given positive coverage and their behavior is always excused.Bin Ladin s description makes a point of mentioning that he personally participated in fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan, so that we can appreciate that he had courage and thus admire him When discussing Saddam s invasion of Kuwait, a lengthy list of grievances he had against Kuwait is listed so that a reader can almost believe that invading Kuwait was the reasonable thing to do On the other hand, Saddam s poison gassing the Kurds in the 80 s is mentioned in a passing in a single sentence, Meanwhile,Saddam s regime was condemned by the Americans and some Europeans as a military dictatorship that invaded its neighbors, murdered politic dissidents by the thousands, killed some of its Kurdish citizens with poison gas, and hoped to ret
Painfully boring and very condescending towards the reader Could it be cultural The book was basically a description of the battles fought and which ruling family oppressed who I wish the authors would add an explanation about the current group fightin
I was assigned this as a textbook for my Introduction to Middle Eastern Culture course Without going on too long, it s a really great read The writing is accessible and doesn t get bogged down in its own academic language, even at times dipping into a very casual tone which I love in this kind of book I would have liked some illustrations or relevant images to help clarify some concepts, but it serves well The beginning chapters which give some background on Isl
I was only able to read about 1 3 of this book before I had to return it to the library It s a very concise history, structured like a textbook, stripped of much of the detail that makes history interesting Nevertheless, you get a good overview of the basics, like the difference between Sunni,
First 3 4 of the book are only interesting if you like the history of Islam or medieval history Best part was it s coverage of 19th and 20th century history in the region Unfortunately did not cover the Arab Spring of 2011. Not a fan.
- 528 pages
- A Concise History of the Middle East
- Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr.
- 21 December 2017 Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr.