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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
"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
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
Bibliographic essay 503
App Table 1 : basic statistics for Middle Eastern countries 534
App Table 2 : how many Palestinians? 536
Posted September 25, 2006
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.
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Posted September 30, 2006
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 NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.