Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on April 29, 2013
This is, by and large, a supreme book that gives a genuine and open look at the Middle East. For many years, the Middle East has been a different world to so many Americans; appearing only in our consciousness when movies or video games make us think to the traditional ethnic stereotypes of "Billionaires, Bombers, and Belly Dancers." However, "Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East" is an excellent, short, and concise read.
As a primary source piece, the entire book is made up of the primary sources- actual, honest documents from throughout the history of Egypt, Syria, Persia, and North Africa, interspersed occasionally with commentaries and summaries of events for context. Khater generally avoids giving too much opinion in these, however, and remains a detached narrator, giving you documents and letting the reader make up his or her mind as to their significance.
Within these pages you find the cruelty of Westerners and their monopolies; years of bountiful trade and peace, while often at odds with brutal regimes. Readers can be exposed to a cavalcade of opinions and choices. Many of them search, desperately , for reform and change throughout much of the book, be it in the form of the early Zionist movement seeking a Jewish home state or be it 1950s revolutionaries advocating an overthrow of fascist regimes in favor of modern republics.
Odds are that this book will be acquired for a college classroom, either by necessity or choice. If you do indeed have choice in the matter, make sure to pick it up.