The Middle East

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In a sweeping and vivid survey, renowned historian Bernard Lewis charts the history of the Middle East over the last 2,000 years, from the birth of Christianity through the modern era, focusing on the successive transformations that have shaped it.

Drawing on material from a multitude of sources, including the work of archaeologists and scholars, Lewis chronologically traces the political, economical, social, and cultural development of the Middle East, from Hellenization in antiquity to the impact of westernization on Islamic culture. Meticulously researched, this enlightening narrative explores the patterns of history that have repeated themselves in the Middle East.

From the ancient conflicts to the current geographical and religious disputes between the Arabs and the Israelis, Lewis examines the ability of this region to unite and solve its problems and asks if, in the future, these unresolved conflicts will ultimately lead to the ethnic and cultural factionalism that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.

Elegantly written, scholarly yet accessible, The Middle East is the most comprehensive single volume history of the region ever written from the world’s foremost authority on the Middle East.
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About the author

Bernard Lewis (born May 31, 1916) was born in London. He is the author of forty-six books on Islam and the Middle East, including Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian; The End of Modern History in the Middle East; and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. He also wrote three major syntheses for general audiences: The Arabs in History; The Middle East and the West; and The Middle East. Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 15, 2009
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781439190005
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / General
History / Social History
Social Science / Regional Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his first book since What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world.

The Crisis of Islam ranges widely through thirteen centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the twentieth century leading up to the violent confrontations of today: the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States.

While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is new. So too is the cult of the suicide bomber. Brilliantly disentangling the crosscurrents of Middle Eastern history from the rhetoric of its manipulators, Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award–winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Usama bin Ladin represents and why his murderous message resonates so widely in the Islamic world.
For many centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement--the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe, a remote land beyond its northwestern frontier, was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first in the battlefield and the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life. In this intriguing volume, Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed--how they had been overtaken, overshadowed, and to an increasing extent dominated by the West. Lewis provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. He shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry and military tactics, commerce and industry, government and diplomacy, education and culture. Lewis highlights the striking differences between the Western and Middle Eastern cultures from the 18th to the 20th centuries through thought-provoking comparisons of such things as Christianity and Islam, music and the arts, the position of women, secularism and the civil society, the clock and the calendar. Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis is one of the West's foremost authorities on Islamic history and culture. In this striking volume, he offers an incisive look at the historical relationship between the Middle East and Europe.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first comprehensive account of the epoch-making Six-Day War, from the author of Ally—now featuring a fiftieth-anniversary retrospective
 
Though it lasted for only six tense days in June, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades, from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to the ongoing intifada, is a direct consequence of those six days of fighting.

Writing with a novelist’s command of narrative and a historian’s grasp of fact and motive, Michael B. Oren reconstructs both the lightning-fast action on the battlefields and the political shocks that electrified the world. Extraordinary personalities—Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Lyndon Johnson and Alexei Kosygin—rose and toppled from power as a result of this war; borders were redrawn; daring strategies brilliantly succeeded or disastrously failed in a matter of hours. And the balance of power changed—in the Middle East and in the world. A towering work of history and an enthralling human narrative, Six Days of War is the most important book on the Middle East conflict to appear in a generation.

Praise for Six Days of War

“Powerful . . . A highly readable, even gripping account of the 1967 conflict . . . [Oren] has woven a seamless narrative out of a staggering variety of diplomatic and military strands.”—The New York Times

“With a remarkably assured style, Oren elucidates nearly every aspect of the conflict. . . . Oren’s [book] will remain the authoritative chronicle of the war. His achievement as a writer and a historian is awesome.”—The Atlantic Monthly

“This is not only the best book so far written on the six-day war, it is likely to remain the best.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Phenomenal . . . breathtaking history . . . a profoundly talented writer. . . .
This book is not only one of the best books on this critical episode in Middle East history; it’s one of the best-written books I’ve read this year, in any genre.”—The Jerusalem Post

“[In] Michael Oren’s richly detailed and lucid account, the familiar story is thrilling once again. . . . What makes this book important is the breadth and depth of the research.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A first-rate new account of the conflict.”—The Washington Post

“The definitive history of the Six-Day War . . . [Oren’s] narrative is precise but written with great literary flair. In no one else’s study is there more understanding or more surprise.”—Martin Peretz, Publisher, The New Republic

“Compelling, perhaps even vital, reading.”—San Jose Mercury News
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