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The Modern Middle East: A History Paperback – Gold CD, March 4, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199766055 ISBN-10: 0199766053 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (March 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199766053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199766055
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Gelvin evokes a fascinating tale of the intersection of the forces of progress, reformation, revolution and imperialism that have collectively defined the modern Middle East. His cogent and crisply written history now sets the standard for serious surveys of the region."--Ussama Makdisi, Rice University


"By far the most engaging survey of the modern Middle East that I have read in a long time. . . . clearly written, often humorous, accessible to students and non-specialists and theoretically sophisticated."--Dina Rizk Khoury, George Washington University


"An important and much-needed conceptual approach to the modern history of the Middle East."--Edmund "Terry" Burke III, University of California, Santa Cruz


About the Author


James L. Gelvin is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. An award-winning teacher, he is the author of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (2005, 2007), Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (1998), and numerous shorter works.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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A very well written textbook, that comes off as a well wriiten story.
Ron S.
This book places events in the history of the modern Middle East in the greater context of world history and world events which were happening at the same time.
-
I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about this region of the world.
jason ison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By tarihci202 on October 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is hard to overstate the value of this relatively short introduction to Middle Eastern history. Rather than attempting a traditional narrative, Gelvin's history emphasizes ways of conceptualizing Middle Eastern history, allowing readers to see, for example, the Constitutional Revolution in Iran and the the Young Turk Revolution in the Ottoman Empire, as part of the same general process. This makes Gelvin's work unusually valuable for readers with some basic knowledge of the Middle East while helping newbies to understand the basic outlines of Modern Middle Eastern History without getting lost in a sea of names and dates. Gelvin is one of the brightest and most original thinkers in Middle Eastern studies today and, even when one disagrees with him, there is an intellectual verve here that is sure to engage.

The weakness to Gelvin's thematic approach is that readers with limited background may sometimes feel the need to remind themselves of basic facts. If the glossary, timeline, and biographical sketches at the end of the book do not suffice for this, William L. Cleveland's A History of the Modern Middle East would make an excellent companion volume.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By - on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is great not only for those who are well-versed in the history of the Middle East, but also those who are interested in the subject but lack an extensive knowledge of it (i.e. those who became genuinely curious only after 9/11).

This book places events in the history of the modern Middle East in the greater context of world history and world events which were happening at the same time. Looking back at the book, it's now difficult for me to understand why all historians wouldn't do the same thing.

And while the author is obviously an expert in the field and has done a great deal of research and analysis, it's also clear from his style of writing that he is a teacher- it's written in such a way as to help the reader understand: organized, very interesting, rational, backed up by facts, humorous at times, etc..., as opposed to many other books on the Mid-East that simply don't flow, and are based more on speculation and bias than they are on fact.

Also, it's a pleasure to read- lots of great stories are included- and in fact, if you tend not to be interested in history books, the stories alone (separate from the text of the book and therefore easy to find) make this book worth picking up; the kind of stories that leave you thinking, "You've got to be kidding me!"

Finally, I think it's worth mentioning that the chapter on nationalism is absolutely groundbreaking, at the very least (*Note to students of the history of any part of the world: read this chapter. It will forever change the way you study history.)

I give this book five stars all the way...highly recommended to all.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Choate on October 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have taken many classes on the Middle East and have had to read many books about it as well. This is the only truly enjoyable history book I have used. Not only is it understandable and easy to read, but the author's side comments and jokes make it really enjoyable. Because of this book, I am finally comprehending much more of the modern period within the Middle East.
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Format: Paperback
Gelvin's history of the modern Middle East is a great start for someone who wants to become more acquainted with the region. It gives an adequate amount of background information, comes complete with useful primary documents, and presents good critical analyses of the historical events it discusses. It mostly covers the former lands of the Ottoman Empire and Iran--nothing about the central Asian countries further East like Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, etc. It's one of those books that you should read cover to cover because its organization does not render it a useful reference book even with the index. It definitely gave me a great grasp of the region broadly, and can help you decide your interests should you want to delve into one subject more in depth. After all, it's a pretty short book that strives to convey a lot of information about a lot of countries over a long period of time (19th and 20th centuries mostly). A good starter book but it may be a little too broad for someone who already is knowledgable about the subject.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Knapp on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would happily agree with most other reviewers; this is one of the best texts that a reader will find on the modern middle east. That said (and I did not notice this the first time through the book), the author does not deign to address many of the atrocities that have happened in the region. For example, the whole of the Armenian Genocide (the deaths of 1.5 million people) is reduced to 3 sentences in the opening remarks of a section. The Shelling of Hama, the Iran-Iraq war, the invasion of Kuwait, and Sabra and Chatila are also glazed over in roughly as much detail.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Cornell on June 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gelvin writes a concise, clear history of the Muslims world (that is, mostly the middle-east). He writes in an enjoyable fashion - being true to historical objectivity, yet throwing in personal analysis when appropriate. What makes this book even better is that it was written in 2005 and could thus position itself within a post-9/11 world. Overall, Gelvin's history is not only rich, but entertaining to read. Perfect for a student whose brain might be frazzled by semesters of reading.
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