A Concise History of the Middle East / Edition 8

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Overview

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
Choice
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.
Booknotes
This excellent history provides an informative and balanced background.
Booknews
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
"A Concise History of the Middle East is a studious and scholarly delve into history and the explorations of culture, offering an informed perspective on these events, a vital read."
The Midwest Book Review

Praise for Prior Editions:

"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

"This review and update of A Concise History of the Middle East makes it once again the premier text for the study of the Middle East. Goldschmidt and Davidson’s well-written and solidly argued analyses of the most important and crucial developments of Middle Eastern history and politics…could not be timelier…It will be a favorite of students and professors alike."
Robert Olson, University of Kentucky

"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

"As someone who has encountered the run of good, fair and middling texts on the Middle East, I can only offer unmixed praise for the new edition of A Concise History of the Middle East by Art Goldschmidt and Lawrence Davidson. Their narrative of the region's quite long history, too often opaque to Westerners, is sparklingly clear and straightforward for even the 'general reader'. They meticulously avoid bias, especially when they explore the tumultuous factors of modernization and westernization in battle against residual forces of ethno-cultural traditionalism. Throughout their remarkable text, they balance a clear treatment of politics and diplomacy, familiar from earlier generations of scholarship with insights into the region's historically evolving norms of society and culture."
Mark Seifter, Lehigh Carbon Community College

"I have used A Concise History of the Middle East as the principal textbook in my Middle East history course for the past twelve years. Student feedback regarding the book has always been positive, as the book is not only greatly informative, touching on a multitude of topics, but very readable as well. It’s an excellent choice for students who have little, if any, previous knowledge of the history of the Middle East."
José E. Alvarez, University of Houston

"Well organized…straightforward and easy to follow…Designed to help the student acquire a basic understanding of Middle East history from the 7th century until the present."
Choice

"An invaluable introduction and a useful reference book for the nonspecialist."
Journal of Palestine Studies

"Excellent. Nice active voice, engaging, comprehensive, balanced. Particularly the coverage on early Islam."
Gina Cirali, Fordham University

"The best single source I have found to introduce undergraduates to the Middle East."
Geraldine Forbes, State University of New York at Oswego

"A lively and interesting account that is likely to allow students to understand and learn more than they might from a stuffy academic text …Thorough and carefully balanced."
The History Teacher

"A Concise History of the Middle East is a studious and scholarly delve into history and the explorations of culture, offering an informed perspective on these events, a vital read."
The Midwest Book Review

Praise for Prior Editions:

"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

"This review and update of A Concise History of the Middle East makes it once again the premier text for the study of the Middle East. Goldschmidt and Davidson’s well-written and solidly argued analyses of the most important and crucial developments of Middle Eastern history and politics…could not be timelier…It will be a favorite of students and professors alike."
Robert Olson, University of Kentucky

"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

"As someone who has encountered the run of good, fair and middling texts on the Middle East, I can only offer unmixed praise for the new edition of A Concise History of the Middle East by Art Goldschmidt and Lawrence Davidson. Their narrative of the region's quite long history, too often opaque to Westerners, is sparklingly clear and straightforward for even the 'general reader'. They meticulously avoid bias, especially when they explore the tumultuous factors of modernization and westernization in battle against residual forces of ethno-cultural traditionalism. Throughout their remarkable text, they balance a clear treatment of politics and diplomacy, familiar from earlier generations of scholarship with insights into the region's historically evolving norms of society and culture."
Mark Seifter, Lehigh Carbon Community College

"I have used A Concise History of the Middle East as the principal textbook in my Middle East history course for the past twelve years. Student feedback regarding the book has always been positive, as the book is not only greatly informative, touching on a multitude of topics, but very readable as well. It’s an excellent choice for students who have little, if any, previous knowledge of the history of the Middle East."
José E. Alvarez, University of Houston

"Well organized…straightforward and easy to follow…Designed to help the student acquire a basic understanding of Middle East history from the 7th century until the present."
Choice

"An invaluable introduction and a useful reference book for the nonspecialist."
Journal of Palestine Studies

"Excellent. Nice active voice, engaging, comprehensive, balanced. Particularly the coverage on early Islam."
Gina Cirali, Fordham University

"The best single source I have found to introduce undergraduates to the Middle East."
Geraldine Forbes, State University of New York at Oswego

"A lively and interesting account that is likely to allow students to understand and learn more than they might from a stuffy academic text …Thorough and carefully balanced."
The History Teacher

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813342757
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2005
  • Edition description: Eighth Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 1.43 (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.

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University. He is the author of several books, including America’s Palestine and Islamic Fundamentalism.

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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 September 25, 2006

    Complete reference work on Middle Eastern history

    At more than 500 pages, this textbook is not exactly 'concise,' as might be expected given the panoramic scope of its topic. Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. and Lawrence Davidson ambitiously try to explain the factors driving Islamic culture and its influence on Western civilization, right down to the glossary and chronology. Their main focus is the impact of Islam on Arab history. Once they reach modern times, the authors¿ strong views shape their explanations, sometimes pushing the book toward commentary rather than history. Some readers may find that their interpretations can be partisan (anti-Bush, pro-Palestinian, accusing the U.S. of terrorism), but such continuing controversies are inherent in Middle East history. As the authors correctly point out, today¿s society offers no solutions to many of these critical issues, most of which have festered for centuries. To draw the most from its strengths, we recommend this major sourcebook primarily to those who are interested in premodern Middle East history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    Yay Goldschmidt!

    This book owns. I'm so happy to be learning things in school that are actually pertinant to the modern world, and especially from an educator as knowledgable as Dr. Goldschmidt. This book truly is a CONCISE histoy, leaving no questions in mind and truly leaving you a more knowledgable person than before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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