Paperback: 592 pages Publisher: Westview Press; 2nd edition (November 1, 1999) Language: English ISBN: 0813334896 Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.0 x 1.2 inches The Middle East is such a multi-faced region with such a rich historical legacy that even people who strive to be well-informed cannot help but feel bewildered at its cultural, political, and religious complexity. Given the blustering aggressiveness of the post-September 11 U.S. policy toward the region, however, Americans owe it to themselves to become far more familiar with the complexities of the Middle East than has been our wont up to now. Popular magazine articles that attempt to "explain" Islamic rage as the result of a "fear of modernity" or "jealousy of the west's freedoms" may as well bear a stamp proclaiming their authorship by the "Ministry of Propaganda." As an alternative, I recommend Professor Cleveland's textbook, which serves as a brief but remarkably thorough introduction to the history of this volatile part of the world. No, the book does not cover Afghanistan or Pakistan, but clearly political currents in these nations are closely linked with what has transpired in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and the rest of the Middle East proper. At the heart of the current crisis is, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian condundrum, and here the author's explanations and analyses are clear, balanced, and incisive. His discussions of the evolution of Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the background *and consequences* of the 1991 Gulf War are also invaluable. In his recounting of the Iranian revolution, Cleveland offers a fascinating analysis of the apparent Islamicist rejection of "modernity," showing that those in the Middle East who reject the West do not crave a return to the ancient past, but instead wish to follow a modernization pathway that is guided by indigenous cultural principles, including the precepts of Islam. Perhaps most impressive, however, is what Cleveland has to say toward the end of the book regarding the dangers of an overly intrusive and domineering presence in the Islamic Middle East by the lone remaining planetary superpower, the U.S. He does not prophesy the recent terrorism that has afflicted this country, but he does criticize the U.S. for policies that seem to rely more upon aerial bombardment than careful diplomacy. The application of Cleveland's conclusions to a reevaluation of the likely long-term consequences of "America's new war" is not a comforting process, but it's one that perhaps more Americans need to undertake. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
This comprehensive work provides an analysis of the last two centuries of Middle Eastern history, from the rise of the Safavids and Ottomans to the recent Gulf War. Explains the deep historical currents flowing beneath today's headlines--essential reading for anyone seeking a better understanding of today's turbulent world. Photos. Maps. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .