on January 21, 2011
I bought this book for a intro to International Studies, I did however purchase it from one of the used sellers for around $18 which was a great deal as this was a $50ish at the campus bookstore.
The book is a pretty good book. I have enjoyed it, however it is a bit dense. It certainly isn't the easiest read ever but it is for a college course and no one promised college would be easy. The book takes the concepts and does a good job of breaking them down to a introductory level to help the reader understand as much as possible.
on January 22, 2011
When I read the first few chapters, I thought that they were decent, albeit repetitive. Much of the information is stated many times, as if more than one person had written it and the book had not been well edited. However, the information was interesting and informative. My major issue came when I read the Middle East Chapter. For starters, some of the facts were incorrect. The book refers to "the road map for peace outlined in the Oslo Accords". Although this information may not be incorrect, it is misleading. The Oslo Accords were a document created by Israelis and Palestinians that provided a framework for future discussions about peace. The Road Map for Peace was a completely separate document written by President Bush after 9/11 that outlined his plans for creating peace between Israel and Palestine. Another example of an inaccuracy within this chapter was the book referring to Mustafa Kemal as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Ataturk was his nickname, not his last name. Furthermore, the book claims that it was aiming to not perpetuate stereotypes in that chapter. That is fine, but the book ignored several issues that remain today in the Middle East. The terrorism part of the chapter barely brushed on many of today's current terrorist organizations. I would not recommend this book at all.
on September 26, 2011
While the subject matter may be very interesting (at least to me,) it is hard to put the foundations of it in a textbook format and not turn it into a boring read. This IS a dry read; however, the authors did a very good job of laying the material out in an understandable and logical manner and did their best, in general, not to put the reader to sleep. Personally, I found the best part of the textbook to be the movie, documentary, web-site and book suggestions at the end of each chapter. I will hold onto the text after the course is over just for those. Even now, I find myself watching a recommended documentary instead of a movie during my small amounts of free-time. But then, I'm a nerd that way! ;)