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Understanding the Middle East: History, Religion, and the Clash of Cultures Paperback – April 27, 2007


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Understanding the Middle East: History, Religion, and the Clash of Cultures + The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction, Third Edition + ISIS Taking Over the Middle East: The Rise of Middle Eastern Supremacy-ISIS/ISIL
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Beechmont Crest Publishing (April 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974833061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974833064
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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".

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eric Anest on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nate on July 31, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. MacLeod on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane H. Kelley on 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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Claumoon_ on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
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. It really detracts from the quality and makes one question the accuracy of the content. It seems the author sat down and just brain dumped on the page, with little or no subsequent editing.

The author has a clear pro-American bias (despite what he claims - any doubt about the bias is dispelled in the very opiniated last chapter) and from what I can find online, has no particular background or expertise in this region of the world (there is no 'author introduction' in the book, at least in the Kindle version). The book also contains very few references or quotations so I really wonder how correct much of it is. It also misses out vast sections of the Middle East, spending most of the time on Iran, Iraq, Saudi and Israel with little or no mention of the UAE, Oman, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon or Jordan.

In summary, readable but deeply flawed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. English on 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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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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