by Susan Korman

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The book opens with the drama of Mubarak al-Sabah's decision to murder his half-brothers�one of them sleeping on the roof�to become the sheik of Kuwait. Mubarak would build Kuwait into a state ready for a profitable relationship with Britain and ultimately, independence. After the excitement of the opening pages, however, the history is marked by a long series of rulers with too many dates and all the politics of conquest and empire. The last few chapters, however, provide very good background on the longstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait, which is critical to understanding Saddam Hussein and the American role in this region. Like most of the books in this series, this one is heavy with unbroken text as well as old photos that bear little relation to that text. Some of the vocabulary will be challenging for younger readers, and the book may be most useful for student reports where the thorough index and timeline will be useful. An excellent introduction by Akbar Ahmed, School of International Service, American University, explains the background behind many of the social and political realities in the Middle East today: the lack of democracy, the need for education reform, opinions of the media, and the distinction between feelings toward Jews and Israelis. The "Creation of the Modern Middle East" series features titles on other individual Middle Eastern countries as well as individual books on the Palestinian Authority and the Kurds. Although some volumes are stronger than others, the series makes an important contribution toward broadening American young people's understanding of this key region of the world. 2003, Chelsea House,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Since these books cover the history, government, and politics of two Middle Eastern trouble spots, knowledgeable, clear, and reasoned writing is essential. On that basis, Palestinian Authority is a failure. The writing is confusing, florid at times, and biased. The text is rife with errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, not to mention facts: the Franco-Russian instead of the Franco-Prussian War; the establishment of the British mandate in Palestine after World War II instead of World War I; 1948, "the year following World War II." The most glaring mistake describes the Palestinian Authority as "an independent state." The book is in fact misnamed, with "Palestinian Authority" appearing only on the final page. Kuwait fares better, with only a few inconsistencies and errors marring the clearly written effort, although the full-color photographs are often irrelevant. (Why show the Shah of Iran and his wife?) Quotations, used in both books but especially heavily in Palestinian Authority, are not footnoted. Passing reference to the source is sometimes made in the body of the text. Each book has one short page of further reading and one of bibliography, although several of the titles and Web sites are the same. Despite the real need for a carefully crafted book on the Palestinian situation, the only acceptable choice here is Kuwait.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
Creation of the Modern Middle East Series
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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