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Understanding the Middle East: History, Religion, and the Clash of Cultures [Kindle Edition]

Edward Trimnell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Explore the history of conflict in the Middle East, from ancient times to today's headlines. Take a balanced but unflinching look at:

- The warring civilizations of the ancient Middle East
- The early expansion of Islam
- What most textbooks don't tell you about the Crusades
- Wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors
- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Why religion and politics are intertwined in the Middle East
- How Iran became an Islamic Republic
- Iraq from ancient times to the post-Saddam era
- Osama bin Laden's journey from being a wealthy but disaffected Saudi youth, to becoming the world's most wanted terrorist
- Islamist terror beyond the Middle East...and much, much more

Editorial Reviews


"A whole lot of history in about 400 pages!" - Donna Perry, reader

"Vast and ambitious....I will be recommending this book to students in my high school-level history classes who are interested in learning more about the region." - Jeff Caudwell, high school history instructor  

From the Publisher

This book takes a conflict-based approach to the Middle East. While explaining the historical details behind the region's multiple conflicts, the author does not pull any punches for the sake of political correctness. In about 400 pages, the reader can explore: the intrigues and power struggles of the ancient Middle East, the birth and rise of Islam, the politically incorrect truths about the Crusades, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the birth of al-Qaeda and the planning of 9/11, the depredations of the Ottoman Empire, and the threats that militant Islam presents to civil liberties in a multicultural Western Europe.

Product Details

  • File Size: 647 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Beechmont Crest Publishing (October 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z7LJ6M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,279 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good January 18, 2010
Owning several books on middle eastern politics and history I did not expect this book to be as good as it is; it is without end or footnotes and is not co-authored or published under an academic institution. Hopefully it will be republished by a major label in the future to do it justice. The book is concise, unbiased, straight forwards and factual, yet conversational enough to keep the reader interested; certainly the book I will use for reference from now on. Trimnell brings in various perspectives to the political realm, always giving what the US view was at any given time, without favoring it or any other.
As for citations, I wouldn't have used them if they were there anyway, and those bits about the middle east in which I was well versed were without flaws in this rendition. An excellent (and fairly up-to-date) history.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ideologically written and undocumented June 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Basic summary: History that is supposed to be neutral but is actually written ideologically makes for really tiresome reading. There's way too much focus on Israel in this book. Not at all what I expected from a book that claims to be neutral.

Further, the lack of sources is disturbing but is not surprising given the lack of neutrality referred to above. The book would not need to be weighed down with footnotes for the author to insert a few well-selected quotations.

Three other comments:

1. The book focuses way too much on current events. Perhaps I misread the description, but I was expecting less recent history.

2. The Kindle version does not have a hyperlinked table of contents. This is a pretty serious shortfall since some readers may wish to skip over certain content, and without a TOC, there's no way to do so. It also drastically lowers the book's value as a reference tool.

3. The quality of the writing is generally poor compared to other books. As someone in the publishing industry, I lay that problem at the publisher's feet rather than the author's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the Middle East by Edward Trimnell March 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and takes a bit of a different approach. Valuable resource for understanding many aspects of Middle East history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! July 31, 2012
By Nate
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a university student I was hoping to find a book that can really present the conflict in the middle east in an understanding and neutral manner. This book without a doubt does this and more. I would say the majority of the book was pretty neutral with the exception of some specific parts and the last chapter. The way this book reads seems almost like a novel, very engaging and climatic. I disagree with comments about a major fixation on Israel. Though it was a big topic in the book I was not overwhelmed. Also I believe that the author did a great job relating the ideologies of the past with the conflicts of today.

However, the need for citations is evident in this book. Some of the details the author gives are somewhat questionable. This book is a great book to get your feet wet with the geopolitics of the Islamic world. By the way, Syria is briefly mentioned and not emphasized.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Zionist tendency May 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although it is a good book on understanding the Middle East, the introduction mentions the neutrality of the book. In reality it has a certain tendency towards the Zionist version of the story. For example, calling a chapter the Yom Kippur War instead of the 1973 War or the Ramadan War. There is nothing wrong with telling one side of the story, but dont pretend to be neutral.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great middle east overview December 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
An important read. Provides one with a basic understanding of middle eastern religious beliefs and culture . The author offers a concise look at history up to current events in that region of the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Helped Me Immensely June 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are curious about what the Middle East is all about and want a relatively easy read that provides you with critical insight and information, this book will do the trick.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having recently traveled to the Middle East I was anxious to learn more about the culture and particularly the Muslim beliefs. This book provided great insight and seemed to be fairly non judgmental.

My only criticism is that the editing wasn't very thorough. There were many instances of improper wording and grammatical mistakes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good history
Seemed to be a good overview of the history of the Middle East, the factions involved, and how they got to where they are today.
Published 1 month ago by Bradley Waide
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read...
I really enjoyed reading this book. It covers a lot of territory geographically and in time. I think it needs to be read with an attitude that we can agree to disagree with Islam.
Published 2 months ago by Danny D
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to read
An excellent easy to read book in a good logical and chronological order. I recommend this book to any one interested in this topic.
Published 2 months ago by Anthony
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but full of errors and clearly biased
This book is a readable introduction to the history and politics of the Middle Elast. However, I have never read a book with so many typos. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Laura Moss
1.0 out of 5 stars Very introductory
If you have absolutely no prior knowledge of the Middle East, then this very high-level synopsis may be of value. Otherwise, you'll find it superficial.
Published 4 months ago by Chris Almstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant !
this book gives a very comprehensive insight to the similarities and differences of the 3 main monolithic religions and how that impacts throughout the world. Read more
Published 4 months ago by billy healy
5.0 out of 5 stars well balanced
No holds bar, honest, historical and fair story on the turbulent times of Islam. It was a perfect explanation of all facets and sides.
Published 5 months ago by glimmer twin1
5.0 out of 5 stars For less than $3 one could not ask for more
Although the kindle edition I bought is fraught spelling and grammar mistakes, and as other reviews have noted there are no footnotes or references (which is a little dubious), for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by MR J W MCMAHON
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Historical Timeline
People have a tendency to view the history of the Middle East in bits and pieces losing the context of 5000 years of history. Read more
Published 22 months ago by StaceyD
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More About the Author

Edward Trimnell is an author of thrillers and speculative fiction. His books include the heart-stopping Kentucky crime novel "Blood Flats", and the chilling Ohio horror novel "Eleven Miles of Night".

Edward is known for writing complex, multifaceted stories that involve edge-of-your-seat physical danger, profound moral dilemmas, and unforgettable characters.

Though you might not have heard of him, his books are gaining a steady following. Samples of his fiction can be found at his blog, "One Word a Day with Ed Trimnell".


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