A History of the Middle East


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About the Book

As the birthplace of three principal religions, the Middle East is holy to 15 million Jews, 2 billion Christians, and 1 billion Muslims. As the cradle of western civilization, it is fundamental to world history, the place where humans transformed themselves from nomadic hunters to settled farmers capable of building great cities and societies. This detailed history covers the Middle East from its ancient beginnings to the present. The confluence of events that produced civilized society is fully discussed, along with the establishment of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The emergence and decline of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, which laid much of the framework for the region to move into the modern era, is covered in depth. Analysis of the area in recent decades focuses on World War I and II and the regional conflicts that inflame the Middle East of the 21st century. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Saul S. Friedman lives in Canfield, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Saul S. Friedman

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 353
Bibliographic Info: maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2356-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5134-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Map of North Africa      vi
Map of the Middle East      vii
A Note on the Transcription      viii
Preface     xi

1. An Introduction to the Middle East     1
2. The Dry Land      6
3. The Blessings of Oil      11
4. The Cradle of Civilization      20
5. Foundations of the Bible      29
6. The Origins of Law and War      42
7. Ancient Persia: Stability through Good Government      49
8. The Age of Wonder: Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians      55
9. The Jews: Historic Roots and Definitions      62
10. The Jews and Their Culture      70
11. Judaism and Christianity      78
12. The Byzantine Empire      89
13. The Arabs and Their Culture      99
14. Muhammad      107
15. The Teachings of Islam      116
16. The Islamic Schism     128
17. Expansion of Islam      137
18. Al Amjad: The Abbasid Caliphate      150
19. The Crusades      160
20. Mamelukes, Mongols, and Delhi Sultans      170
21. The Ottomans      177
22. Ottoman Decline      184
23. World War I      193
24. Republican Turkey      200
25. The Renaissance of Arab Nationalism      208
26. Political Zionism      218
27. The Middle East between World Wars      229
28. World War II      239
29. Postwar Palestine: Two Refugee Questions      246
30. Egypt: Nasser’s Philosophy of Revolution      256
31. Egypt: Sadat and Mubarak      265
32. Israel and the Palestinians      272
33. Lebanon: Good Intentions Gone Awry     279
34. Modern Iran      285
35. The Radical Arab States      297
36. The Middle East in the 21st Century      308

Chapter Notes      315
Selected Bibliography      331
Index      335

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