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Understanding the Middle East: History, Religion, and the Clash of Cultures Paperback – April 27, 2007
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"A whole lot of history in about 400 pages!" - Donna Perry, reader
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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Top Customer Reviews
My only criticism is that the editing wasn't very thorough. There were many instances of improper wording and grammatical mistakes.
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.
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.