In this political biography, Ilan Pappe traces the rise of the Husayni family of Jerusalem, who dominated Palestinian history from the early 1700s until the second half of the twentieth century. Viewing this sweeping saga through the prism of one family, the book sheds new light on crucial events – the invasion of Palestine by Napoleon, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, World War I, western colonialism, and the advent of Zionism – and provides an unforgettable picture of the Palestinian tragedy in its entirety. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty is the history of Palestinian politics before national movements and political parties. In telling the story of one family, the book highlights the continuity between periods customarily divided into pre-modern and modern, pre-Zionist and Zionist, illuminating history as it was actually lived.
In his disturbing and timely book Jean-Pierre Filiu lays bare the strategies and tactics employed by the Middle Eastern autocracies, above all those of Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, that set out to crush the democratic uprisings of the "Arab Revolution.'In pursuit of these goals they turned to the intelligence agencies and internal security arms of the "deep state," the armed forces, and to street gangs such as the Shabiha to enforce their will. Alongside physical intimidation, imprisonment and murder, Arab counter-revolutionaries discredited andsplit their opponents by boosting Salafi-Jihadi groups such as Islamic State. They also released from prison hardline Islamists and secretly armed and funded them.The full potential of the Arab counter-revolution surprised most observers, who thought they had seen it all from the Arab despots: their perversity, their brutality, their voracity. But the wider world underestimated their ferocious readiness literally to burn down their countries in order to clingto absolute power. Bashar al-Assad clambered to the top of this murderous class of tyrants, driving nearly half of the Syrian population in to exile and executing tens of thousands of his opponents. He has set a grisly precedent, one that other Arab autocrats are sure to follow in their pursuit ofabsolute power.
This is essential reading for anyone interested in the collapse of the Middle East, and the devastating role of the West in the creation of this hellish crucible. In Age of Jihad Cockburn exposes the dominant conflict of our time-the Sunni-Shia war, and the subsequent origins of ISIS. As he shows this did not explode suddenly in Syria after the Arab Spring as the conventional view holds, but over several years in occupied Iraq. It is in the sectarian conflict that engulfed Iraq following the war of 2003 that patterns were established that would later spill over into Syria with such devastating results. Since July 2014, the dominance of ISIS threatens the stability of the whole region. Cockburn was the first Western commentator to warn of ISIS, so far ahead of everyone else that last year the judges of the British Journalism Awards advised the UK government to 'consider pensioning off the whole of MI6 and hiring Patrick Cockburn instead.' Age of Jihad will be the most in-depth analysis of the failure of the Middle East to date.
Arafat turns the Western perception of Yasir Arafat upside down, showing how, before he was corrupted by power, Arafat was a heroic freedom fighter. The author also explores the relationship between the PLO, the CIA & the Arab establishment.
In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world. On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.
Begun as the United States moved its armed forces into Iraq, Rashid Khalidi's powerful and thoughtful new book examines the record of Western involvement in the region and analyzes the likely outcome of our most recent Middle East incursions. Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of the political and cultural history of the entire region as well as interviews and documents, Khalidi paints a chilling scenario of our present situation and yet offers a tangible alternative that can help us find the path to peace rather than Empire. We all know that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sadly, as Khalidi reveals with clarity and surety, America's leaders seem blindly committed to an ahistorical path of conflict, occupation, and colonial rule. Our current policies ignore rather than incorporate the lessons of experience. American troops in Iraq have seen first hand the consequences of U.S. led "democratization" in the region. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict seems intractable, and U.S. efforts in recent years have only inflamed the situation. The footprints America follows have led us into the same quagmire that swallowed our European forerunners. Peace and prosperity for the region are nowhere in sight. This cogent and highly accessible book provides the historical and cultural perspective so vital to understanding our present situation and to finding and pursuing a more effective and just foreign policy.
From Fouad Ajami, an acclaimed author and chronicler of Arab politics, comes a compelling account of how a generation of Arab intellectuals tried to introduce cultural renewals in their homelands through the forces of modernity and secularism. Ultimately, they came to face disappointment, exile, and, on occasion, death. Brilliantly weaving together the strands of a tumultuous century in Arab political thought, history, and poetry, Ajami takes us from the ruins of Beirut's once glittering metropolis to the land of Egypt, where struggle rages between a modernist impulse and an Islamist insurgency, from Nasser's pan-Arab nationalist ambitions to the emergence of an uneasy Pax Americana in Arab lands, from the triumphalism of the Gulf War to the continuing anguished debate over the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. For anyone who seeks to understand the Middle East, here is an insider's unflinching analysis of the collision between intellectual life and political realities in the Arab world today.
The first major account of the life of an extraordinary soldier and statesman, King Hussein of Jordan. Throughout his long reign (1953--1999), Hussein remained a dominant figure in Middle Eastern politics and a consistent proponent of peace with Israel. For over forty years he walked a tightrope between Palestinians and Arab radicals on the one hand and Israel on the other. Avi Shlaim reveals that Hussein initiated a secret dialogue with Israel in 1963 and spent hundreds of hours in talks with countless Israeli officials. Shlaim expertly reconstructs this dialogue from previously untapped records and first-hand accounts, significantly rewriting the history of the Middle East over the past fifty years and shedding light on the far-reaching impact of Hussein's leadership.
In this classic work, now updated, the author of Culture and Imperialism reveals the hidden agendas and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world. From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. At the same time, Islamic countries use "Islam" to justify unrepresentative and often repressive regimes. Combining political commentary with literary criticism, Covering Islam continues Edward Said's lifelong investigation of the ways in which language not only describes but also defines political reality.
Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk
Call Number: DS 87.5 .F55 2002
Publication Date: 2002-10-24
With the Israeli-Palestinian crisis reaching wartime levels, where is the latest confrontation between these two old foes leading? Robert Fisk's explosive Pity the Nation recounts Sharon and Arafat's first deadly encounter in Lebanon in the early 1980s and explains why the Israel-Palestine relationship seems so intractable. A remarkable combination of war reporting and analysis by an author who has witnessed the carnage of Beirut for twenty-five years, Fisk, the first journalist to whom bin Laden announced his jihad against the U.S., is one of the world's most fearless and honored foreign correspondents. He spares no one in this saga of the civil war and subsequent Israeli invasion: the PLO, whose thuggish behavior alienated most Lebanese; the various Lebanese factions, whose appalling brutality spared no one; the Syrians, who supported first the Christians and then the Muslims in their attempt to control Lebanon; and the Israelis, who tried to install their own puppets and, with their 1982 invasion, committed massive war crimes of their own. It includes a moving finale that recounts the travails of Fisk's friend Terry Anderson who was kidnapped by Hezbollah and spent 2,454 days in captivity. Fully updated to include the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon and Ariel Sharon's electoral victory over Ehud Barak, this edition has sixty pages of new material and a new preface. "Robert Fisk's enormous book about Lebanon's desperate travails is one of the most distinguished in recent times." -- Edward Said
Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk
Call Number: DS 87 .F55 1990
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
Pity the Nation ranks among the classic accounts of war in our time, both as historical document and as an eyewitness testament to human savagery. Written by one of Britain's foremost journalists, this remarkable book combines political analysis and war reporting in an unprecedented way: it isan epic account of the Lebanon conflict by an author who has personally witnessed the carnage of Beirut for over a decade. Fisk's book recounts the details of a terrible war but it also tells a story of betrayal and illusion, of Western blindness that had led inevitably to political and militarycatastrophe.Updated and revised, Fisk's book gives us a further insight into this troubled part of the world.'Robert Fisk is one of the outstanding reporters of this generation. As a war correpondent he is unrivalled.'Edward Mortimer, Financial Times
A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert H. Hourani; Malise Ruthven
Call Number: DS 37.7 .H67 1992
Publication Date: 2003-04-30
Upon its publication in 1991, Albert Houraniâe(tm)s masterwork was hailed as the definitive story of Arab civilization, and became both a bestseller and an instant classic. In a panoramic view encompassing twelve centuries of Arab history and culture, Hourani brilliantly illuminated the people and events that have fundamentally shaped the Arab world.Now this seminal book is available in an expanded second edition. Noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven brings the story up to date from the mid-1980s, including such events as the Gulf War; civil unrest in Algeria; the change of leadership in Syria, Morocco, and Jordan; and the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.The terrorist attacks in the United States, ongoing crisis in Iraq, and renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians all underscore the need for a balanced and well-informed understanding of the Arab world, and make this insightful history of the Arab peoples more important than ever.
A History of the Modern Middle East offers a comprehensive assessment of the region, stretching from the fourteenth century and the founding of the Ottoman and Safavid empires through to the present-day protests and upheavals. The textbook focuses on Turkey, Iran, and the Arab countries of the Middle East, as well as areas often left out of Middle East history--such as the Balkans and the changing roles that Western forces have played in the region for centuries--to discuss the larger contexts and influences on the region's cultural and political development. Enriched by the perspectives of workers and professionals; urban merchants and provincial notables; slaves, students, women, and peasants, as well as political leaders, the book maps the complex social interrelationships and provides a pivotal understanding of the shifting shapes of governance and trajectories of social change in the Middle East. Extensively illustrated with drawings, photographs, and maps, this text skillfully integrates a diverse range of actors and influences to construct a narrative that is at once sophisticated and lucid. A History of the Modern Middle East highlights the region's complexity and variation, countering easy assumptions about the Middle East, those who governed, and those they governed--the rulers, rebels, and rogues who shaped a region.
What Went Wrong? by Bernard Lewis
Call Number: DS 62.4 .L488 2003
Publication Date: 2003-01-07
For centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement -- the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed. The West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and then in the marketplace. In this elegantly written volume, Bernard Lewis, a renowned authority an Islamic affairs, examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to make sense of how it had been overtaken, overshadowed, and dominated by the West. In a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil, Lewis shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry, industry, government, education, and culture. He also describes how some Middle Easterners fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, while others asked not "Who did this to us?" but rather "Where did we go wrong?" With a new Afterword that addresses September 11 and its aftermath, What Went Wrong? is an urgent, accessible book that no one who is concerned with contemporary affairs will want to miss.
The Struggle for Arab Independence by Patrick Seale
Call Number: DS 62.4 .S43 2010
Publication Date: 2010-03-04
The Middle East, as we know it today, was shaped in the violent and tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century. The roots of many of the conflicts and crises which afflict the region today can be traced back to this period of wars, high drama and the cavalier re-drawing of maps. Patrick Seale, a leading historian of the region, tells the story of the making of the modern Middle East through the life of Riad el-Solh, a Lebanese politician who grew into the outstanding Arab statesman of his time. Based on British and French archives, and on numerous interviews, the book pieces together the history of the Arab struggle for independence through the lives of those most directly involved. It is an invaluable resource for students and researchers, and of compelling interest to anyone who wants to know more about the Middle East.
Khomeini by Baqer Moin
Call Number: DS 318.84 .K48 M65 2009
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
When the Ayatollah Khomeini burst onto the international scene in the late 1970s, radical Islam became a factor of political life that would change the world. And with the Iranian Revolution that Khomeini led in 1978/79, religion once more moved center stage in world politics. Who was this frail octogenarian who became the inspiration for a new militant Islam? Khomeini was the most radical Muslim leader of this age. He launched an Islamic revival movement which quickly turned him into a hero for his supporters and a villain for his enemies. In the process, Khomeini became one of the seminal figures of the modern age. Still an enigma in the West, Khomeini transformed the Middle East and the world. But where did the man come from? What was his childhood and family background? How did the turbulent events in Iran during his youth shape Khomeini's politics? What changed him from an obscure traditional theologian into a competitive and vengeful radical set to reshape the Middle East? With radical political Islam now clearly central in all attempts to understand the international political scene today, this compelling biography of the man who started it all becomes essential reading for observers of the Middle East and world affairs.
Beware of Small States by David Hirst
Call Number: DS 87.67 .H57 2010
Publication Date: 2010-03-30
Lebanon, a country no bigger than Connecticut, has become a battleground for the political, strategic and ideological conflicts of its neighbors and the great powers. It has come to reflect the broad historical experiences of the modern Middle East. 'Beware of Small States' is an elegant and incisive history of Lebanon culminating with the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and its aftermath. David Hirst-a former Middle East correspondent for 'The Guardian', whose tough, skeptical voice has earned him death threats and seen him banned from six Arab countries-crafts a narrative that is essential for anyone wishing to understand the current political climate of the Middle East.
The Modern History of Jordan by Kamal S. Salibi; Salibi Kamal; Kamal Salibi
Call Number: DS 154.5 .S25 1998
Publication Date: 1998-12-31
Few states in the modern world have had a less promising birth than Jordan. When in 1921 the Hashemite Emir Abdallah was recognized as the ruler of this romantic backwater of the former Ottoman Empire, it was sparsely populated, extremely poor, and widely regarded as ungovernable. Today against all the odds, Jordan has become one of the most prosperous and stable of Middle Eastern countries and a major player in the region's politics. In this political history, Kamal Salibi attempts to explain how this transformation was achieved. The book traces the story of modern Jordan from its origins in the Arab revolt at the end of World War I and the political success of the astute and colourful founder of its ruling dynasty. It includes a detailed examination of the far-reaching implications for Jordan of the Palestinian tragedy and a constantly tense relationship with neighbouring Israel and it shows how King Hussein, the longest surviving ruler in the contemporary Middle East, has guided the country through these difficult times to introduce democracy in 1988.
Failed States by Noam Chomsky
Call Number: E 902 .C468 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-04
The world's foremost critic ofU.S. foreign policy exposes the hollow promises of democracy in American actions abroad--and at home The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene against "failed states" around the globe. In this much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state," and thus a danger to its own people and the world. "Failed states" Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a 'democratic deficit,' having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of the nuclear risk; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and America's self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy. Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented,Failed Statesoffers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices have recklessly placed the world on the brink of disaster. Systematically dismantling America's claim to being the world's arbiter of democracy,Failed Statesis Chomsky's most focused--and urgent--critique to date.
From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman
Call Number: DS 119.7 .F736 1995
Publication Date: 1990-07-15
Winner of the 1989 National Book Award for nonfiction, this extraordinary bestseller is still the most incisive, thought-provoking book ever written about the Middle East. Thomas L. Friedman, twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, and now the Foreign Affairs columnist on the op-ed page of theNew York Times, drew on his ten years in the Middle East to write a book thatThe Wall Street Journalcalled "a sparkling intellectual guidebook... an engrossing journey not to be missed." Now with a new chapter that brings the ever-changing history of the conflict in the Middle East up to date, this seminal historical work reaffirms both its timeliness and its timelessness. "If you're only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it." -- Seymour Hersh."From Beirut To Jerusalemis the most intelligent and comprehensive account one is likely to read." --New York Times Book Review.
Sandstorms by Peter Theroux; Paul Theroux
Call Number: DS 49.7 .T48 1990
Publication Date: 1991-08-17
In this provocative and incisive memoir, Peter Theroux reveals the Middle East only as a true insider can. Stationed as a journalist in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for most of his seven years in the region, Theroux explodes the romantic images of Arabia, but replaces them with the even more intriguing reality of fanatic Muslims, overwhelmingly rich and powerful royal families, and the vast gulf in understanding between Arabs and westerners.