Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

by Michael M. Gunter
     
 

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Straddling the mountainous borders where Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria converge in the Middle East, the 25-30 million Kurds living there constitute the largest nation in the world without its own independent state. In recent years the Kurdish problem has become increasingly important in Middle Eastern and even international politics for two fundamental reasons.

Overview

Straddling the mountainous borders where Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria converge in the Middle East, the 25-30 million Kurds living there constitute the largest nation in the world without its own independent state. In recent years the Kurdish problem has become increasingly important in Middle Eastern and even international politics for two fundamental reasons. First, the wars against Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003 resulted in the creation of a virtually independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in a federal Iraq. This KRG has inspired the Kurds elsewhere to seek cultural, social, and even political autonomy, if not independence. Second, Turkey's application for admission into the European Union (EU) also has brought the Kurdish issue to the attention of Europe. The second edition of Historical Dictionary of the Kurds greatly expands on the first edition through an updated chronology, an introductory essay, an expanded bibliography, maps, photos, and over 400 cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, places, events, institutions, and aspects of culture, society, economy, and politics. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the history of the Kurds.

Editorial Reviews

Oriente Moderno
This is a very original and scholarly volume, whose entries are generally exhaustive and with detailed information. ... the deep and accurate work done in gathering information on the entries of this political dictionary is to be greatly appreciated, and this volume is also a necessary support for libraries and those interested in the Near and Middle East. [Review of 1st Edition]
Journal Of Third World Studies
A very useful reference work. [Review of 1st Edition]
Journal Of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
A comprehensive dictionary of maps, a chronology, an introductory essay, a dictionary containing several hundred entries on various aspects of Kurdish experience and an extensive bibliography. [Review of 1st Edition]
Middle East Journal
The value of this work is its timeliness. The 153 articles and book bibliographic entries are well organized. ... Anyone interested in the history of politics of the Kurds and the current politics of the Middle East will want to have [this book] within reach. [Review of 1st Edition]
American Reference Books Annual
Brilliant and committed. ... This work provides good maps and a fantastic bibliography. [Review of 1st Edition]
CHOICE
This second edition covers significant historical events, people, and places in Kurdish history from 401 BCE to early 2010. Gunter (Tennessee Technical Univ., Cookeville), a respected expert, has written numerous books, book chapters, and journal articles on Kurdish history and politics. Even with its broad historical scope, covering 2,000-plus years of history, this work does a very good job of presenting both introductory overviews and detailed information within each entry. The dictionary begins with an acronyms/abbreviations section that is essential for understanding the work and for studying the subject more broadly. An excellent, detailed chronology of significant historical events follows. Well worth reading, the introduction provides an overview of the region, economy, and historical background of the Kurds. Entries are well written and contain multiple cross-references that are boldfaced for easy identification. The thorough bibliography is divided into subtopics to assist readers with finding the most appropriate content. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
Booklist
Scattered throughout four countries—Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria—Kurds are one of the world’s largest ethnic groups without an independent country. First published in 2004, this second edition of Historical Dictionary of the Kurds includes many new, expanded, and revised entries; dated items were deleted. Similar to the format of the other books in the various Scarecrow Historical Dictionaries series, most of the work comprises A–Z entries covering history, politics, sociology, geography, and other related topics. In addition, the book includes maps, a chronology, an introductory essay, and an unannotated topical bibliography. (One quibble: this series does not include bibliographical references after each entry.) Author Gunter has studied and written about Kurdish history and society for many years. He is to be commended for both his candor and rigor: “I have always sought to be as objective as possible without being egregiously politically correct.” Since the plight of the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq is featured in current Middle East news and inspires growing interest in their history, this useful and well-researched reference book will undoubtedly inform and educate readers in academic and large public libraries.
Reference Reviews
I have not been able to find any other reference book that covers all the material contained here....Academic libraries catering for programmes on the Middle East or on any of the countries concerned, libraries catering for readers on the geopolitics of oil, or on international relations in general will find this book worth considering....The political situation in the Middle East is changing extremely rapidly, and it is worth trying to keep up with it.
Choice
This second edition covers significant historical events, people, and places in Kurdish history from 401 BCE to early 2010. Gunter (Tennessee Technical Univ., Cookeville), a respected expert, has written numerous books, book chapters, and journal articles on Kurdish history and politics. Even with its broad historical scope, covering 2,000-plus years of history, this work does a very good job of presenting both introductory overviews and detailed information within each entry. The dictionary begins with an acronyms/abbreviations section that is essential for understanding the work and for studying the subject more broadly. An excellent, detailed chronology of significant historical events follows. Well worth reading, the introduction provides an overview of the region, economy, and historical background of the Kurds. Entries are well written and contain multiple cross-references that are boldfaced for easy identification. The thorough bibliography is divided into subtopics to assist readers with finding the most appropriate content. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
Brilliant and committed. ... This work provides good maps and a fantastic bibliography.
Journal of Third World Studies
A very useful reference work. [Review of 1st Edition]
Library Journal
For this update of the 2003 edition, Gunter (Kurds Ascending) has reconsidered each entry and expanded the book's relaxed and edifying historical narrative to encompass recent events. Multiparagraph entries are organized alphabetically by terms translated from Kurdish. To orient readers, three maps detail Upper Kurdistan and postdiaspora pockets of Kurdish majority. A cache of black-and-white photographs at the book's center offers an enriching glimpse of significant Kurdish sites and figures. And of special value to researchers is the 90-page, thematically organized bibliography, which rounds out the book. Wonderful informational background to Michiel Hegener's photographically rich Kurds of Iraq (Mets & Schilt, 2010).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810867512
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
11/04/2010
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Peoples and Cultures Series , #8
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Michael M. Gunter is professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University. He also has been teaching in the summers since 2002 at The International University in Vienna, Austria. He is the author of a number of scholarly acclaimed books dealing with the Kurds.

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