Award-winning author Raja Shehadeh has kept a diary since the 1967 Israeli invasion: here, he chronicles the last two eventful years before the Palestinian bid for UN statehood in September 2011. As he addresses pertinent political questions, Shehadeh tells a story of daily frustrations, ignominies and isolation.
Michael Axworthy, author of the acclaimed history of Iran, Empire of the Mind, turns his focus to one of the most remarkable moments of modern times, the Iranian revolution. In a thorough but eminently readable study, Axworthy leads us from the earliest whispers of revolution, under the hated American and British-backed shah, to the uprising, initially led by secular students alongside enraged clerics, that left the Ayatollahs in charge of one of the worlds oldest and most venerable states.
In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, handcuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he did not return to Boston, but to his great-grandfather's estate in southern Lebanon, a house that, three years earlier, he had begun to rebuild. In this poignant and resonant memoir, Shadid tells the story of a battle-scarred home and his own jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. A mosaic of past and present, and a memorialization of a lost world.
A light-hearted romp through a city-state filled with contradiction, Bennett takes us through the brashness, the egos and the speculative bubble that ended (briefly) with the financial crash. He also shows us the more thoughtful, intellectual side of the city that hides behind the towering glass and steel behemoths.
On 19 August 1953 the British and American intelligence agencies launched a desperate coup against a cussed, bedridden 72-year-old. His name was Muhammad Mossadegh, the Iranian prime minister. To Winston Churchill he was a lunatic, determined to humiliate Britain. To President Eisenhower he was delivering Iran to the Soviets. Mossadegh had to go. De Bellaigue shows us how the west pushed him out, and how his deposition affected one of the Middle East's most progressive, nations.
Following Rubicon and Persian Fire, In the Shadow of the Sword completes Tom Holland’s superb trilogy of ancient histories. The rise of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history; a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character and achievement. Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion - except that they achieved their conquests, not over the course of centuries, as the Romans did, but in a matter of decades. Just like the Greeks during the Persian wars, they overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to emerge triumphant against the greatest empire of the day - not by standing on the defensive, however, but by hurling themselves against all who lay in their path.
The best work on the Mongols since its first edition publication in 1986, this revised 2nd edition of David Morgans essential work is the essential starting point to learning about histories greatest land empire and dispelling the myths of the Nomadic Mongols as barbarians. A student of Middle East studies luminaries such as Anne Lambton and Bernard Lewis, Morgan guides us through the empire, from its formation on the steppes of Central Asia to its dominance, in the forms of the Golden Horde, Ilkhanate and Yuan Dynasty (in Russia, the Middle East and China respectively), of the majority of Eurasia. A must-read.
Denied a visa to stay in America, Qanta Ahmed, a British Muslim and a doctor, accepted a posting in Saudi Arabia. The repression, racism and chauvenism she was to experience there went beyond her wildest dreams, and yet so did the capacity for love. An interesting yet unremarkable insight into life as a woman in Saudi Arabia.
In 'The Locust and the Bird' Hanan Al-Shayk tells the story of her mother's life as a runaway romantic. Although biographical in subject the treatment is imaginative and the storytelling is captivating.
Nasrin Alavi has collected extracts from 64,000 Iranian bloggers, carefully compiled them under different chapters, including female rights, news reporting, the war and the revolution, and presented each with an introduction. Through this tapestry of different voices, many young, many brave and many dissenting, she has created a vibrant portrait of her homeland.
A well-researched, comprehensive account of Jordan's metamorphosis from a series of dislocated tribes into a well-structured, modern state. Vital reading for anyone interested in Jordan and its history.
A clear, scholarly history of the creation of the Bible and its social and political use over the years. A mind-blowing achievement and a wonderfully informative work from this theological scholar and ex-nun.
As fewer people are willing to sacrifice their sons, War Plc maps the extraordinary growth of mercenary style security companies who are now offering private armies to governments and corporations. A well-researched, occasionally shocking report into modern warfare.
An excellent revisionist account of the war in the Middle East between 1916 and 1918. James Barr debunks many of the myths surrounding T. E. Lawrence and provides us with a serious, considered, yet gripping history of this moment in Arab and Western relations.
A vital insight into the crucial, but often overlooked, era when Britain and France fought out a political and clandestine battle for control of the Middle East. Against the odds, a pact secretly drawn out by two men - one French, one English - to divide the Middle East between them, survives the First World War and forms the basis for the post-war division of the region into five new countries.
Ibn Battuta was a 14th century scholar and traveller who set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca from his native Tangiers. Over the next 27 years, this contemporary of Marco Polo, would visit every Islamic country and these are his fascinating accounts of the Muslim world of Northern Africa and the Middle East.
De Bellaigue uses his journey across Turkey's desolate eastern province to frame a history of the region and the conflicts between the Kurds, the Turks and the Armenians. A wonderfully poetic, balanced and informative book.