Books, History

A Concise History of the Middle East 9th Edition- for free


Why History? Some of you may have a rather dismal image of history from school or books. History is the study of events that occurred in the past. These events are carefully collected by historians, checked for accuracy, and written down in chronological order. History is organized according to the reign of a ruler or the duration of a nation and divided into manageable chunks of time. Students memorize this “history” in the form of facts, names, and dates.

Only occasional concepts, casually conveyed and dimly grasped, season this stew. Some teachers tell students to just memorize “trends.” This is often considered a vague assertion, unsupported by evidence of not having heard the lecture or read the text book. With these all too commonnotions, history is a boring, dead subject. It is useless. It cannot predict what will happen in the future. Nor can it help history majors find jobs.

About the Book

This book introduces the Middle East to students and other readers who have never lived in or studied the Middle East. It is tragic that for most Americans, their first exposure to the Middle East was the September 11,2001attacks. Unbeknownst to most citizens, the U.S. government was deeply involved in Middle Eastern affairs long before that date.

These activities are discussed in detail in this publication. Americans must understand them if we are to act wisely to prevent similar terrorist attacks in the future. The Middle East is a rather imprecise term that describes a geographic region from Egypt to Afghanistan, or a cultural region where Islam arose and developed. In this chapter, we intend to clarify this terminology.

First, let me tell you why we believe that history is the discipline best suited for an introduction to this region. After all, the discipline of political science may allow us to see the Middle East through the systems that distribute power and value. An economist would focus on how the inhabitants of the Middle East are organized to satisfy their material needs. A sociologist or cultural anthropologist would analyze the institutions and collective behavior of the various ethnic groups that make up the Middle East. They would also look at its diverse cultures through language, religion, literature, geography, architecture, art, folklore, and even diverse cuisine.

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