A Concise History of the Middle East / Edition 9

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The ninth edition of this widely acclaimed book has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment. It focuses on 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 course of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the reassertion of Islamic values and power, the issues surrounding the Palestinian Question, and the roles of Iraq and Iran in the post-9/11 Middle East

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Editorial Reviews

Lawrence Davidson
An eminently readable and comprehensive text that gives an accurate and analytical account of Near East history. —West Chester University Praise for earlier editions:
Geraldine Forbes
The best single source I have found to introduce undergraduates to the Middle East. —State University of New York at Oswego
Well organized... Straightforward and easy to follow.
Journal of Palestine Studies
An invaluable introduction and a useful reference book.
Gina Cirali
Excellent. Nice active voice, engaging, comprehensive, balanced. Particularly the coverage on early Islam. —Fordham University
Midwest Book Review
A lively, involving text.
History Teacher
A balanced interpretation which allows more than one view of any number of controversial issues... Thorough and carefully balanced.
This excellent history provides an informative and balanced background.
First published in 1979, this college-level introductory text ranges chronologically from the beginnings of Islam to the present. Extensive revisions reflect new scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East including the aftermath of the Gulf War and issues surrounding the "Palestinian Question." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

Praise for the Ninth Edition:

"This is a text that breathes life into the history it presents. The authors both care deeply about the region—and both recognize the responsibility of their American readers (their primary readers) to understand, and in a general sense sympathize, with the life struggles of the people whose history they present—and whose history has become increasingly intertwined with American global interests, often times, as they recognize and relate, to the detriment of people in the Middle East. The authors are not afraid to spell out these complexities in a style that is at once accessible and gently provocative. This is a text with personality."
Joel Gordon, University of Arkansas

"Our students and faculty alike have found this to be a well-organized, comprehensive, balanced, and exceptionally readable textbook. The authors blend significant historical detail with timely political analysis in a cogent style that is compelling and lucid. The addition of frequent biographical sketches and side-bars on major events or political terms bring additional features that make this a compelling and one of a kind introduction to the Middle East."
Donald Wagner, North Park University, Chicago

Praise for the Tenth Edition:

“I think that Art Goldschmidt's original idea for a readable textbook on a hard subject has put A Concise History of the Middle East in a class of its own. It is very simply the best and easiest way to comprehend Middle Eastern history as a whole.”
T. Hunt Tooley, Austin College

A Concise History of the Middle East is a studious and scholarly delve into history and the explorations of culture…a vital read.”
The Midwest Book Review, January 2013

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813343884
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2009
  • Edition description: Ninth Edition, Ninth Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 563,308
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. is professor emeritus of Middle East history at Penn State University. He is the author of Modern Egypt: The Formation of a Nation-State, and the recipient of the Amoco Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching and the 2000 Middle East Studies Association Mentoring Award.

Aomar Boum is associate professor of anthropology at UCLA.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 The Middle East before Muhammad 13

3 The prophet of Mecca 25

4 What is Islam? 39

5 The early Arab conquests 49

6 The high caliphate 65

7 Shiites and Turks, crusaders and Mongols 81

8 Islamic civilization 99

9 Firearms, slaves, and empires 121

10 European interests and imperialism 147

11 Westernizing reform in the nineteenth century 159

12 The rise of nationalism 177

13 The roots of Arab bitterness 197

14 Modernizing rulers in the independent states 215

15 Egypt and the Fertile Crescent under European control 243

16 The contest for Palestine 271

17 Israel's rebirth and the rise of Arab nationalism 293

18 War and the quest for peace 327

19 The reassertion of Islamic power 365

20 The Gulf War and the peace process 397

21 The war on terrorism 421

Chronology 455

Glossary 471

Bibliographic essay 503

App Table 1 : basic statistics for Middle Eastern countries 534

App Table 2 : how many Palestinians? 536

Index 537

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    very informative

    This book is very informative. It gives the reader a perspective of the Middle East that differs from the norm. Its thought provoking material is perfect for reflection. Really explanatory I have learned so much from this great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010


    I ordered this book and 11 other books for a relative. My relative never got the books. Also B&N could not even track the books, telling me that even though I had a tracking number, the books somehow disappeared. I am very upset. B&N ordered replacements and I am waiting to see if my relative would receive them. I will not use B&N to send books anymore.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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