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A History of the Modern Middle East [Format Kindle]

William L Cleveland , Martin Bunton

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This comprehensive work provides a penetrating analysis of modern Middle Eastern history, from the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, through the challenge of Western imperialism, to the impact of US foreign policies. After introducing the reader to the region’s history from the origins of Islam in the seventh century, A History of the Modern Middle East focuses on the past two centuries of profound and often dramatic change. Although built around a framework of political history, the book also carefully integrates social, cultural, and economic developments into a single, expertly crafted account. In updating this fifth edition of the late William Cleveland’s popular introductory text, Martin Bunton provides a thorough account of the major transformative developments over the past four years, including a new chapter on the tumultuous Arab uprisings and the participation of Islamist parties in a new political order in the Middle East.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 7427 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 600 pages
  • Editeur : Westview Press; Édition : 5 (4 décembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°202.189 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  26 commentaires
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Modern Middle East Review 13 février 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book arrived in brand-new condition, and the price for the size and quality was great. I'm using this for my Modern Middle East class at college, and the professor stated that for the price, this was the best book for finding the most concise and useful history describing how the Middle East we know came to be. Some of the names and words are not the typical spellings, but differ based upon the author's discretion. The book reads well, has maps interspersed for better understanding, and has occasional pictures to depict important figures. The glossary is quite useful in defining unfamiliar terms. All in all, one of my favorite textbooks - it's one of the useful ones!
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lucid and Comprehensive 7 juillet 2015
Par Inset Pseudonym - Publié sur Amazon.com
The middle east is a volatile region critically significant to Western foreign policy, particularly since 9/11. Given the coverage the region has been getting in the media lately, understanding the historical context in which current events are occurring is imperative. This work is very useful in providing that. Though it is technically a textbook(hence the price), there is absolutely no reason an inquisitive general reader can't dig in. The prose is scholarly but I must emphatically stress that it is not dry; it is an enjoyable read.

I have one complaint though.The authors have a subtle yet pervasive left-wing bias. Everything wrong with the region--the ceaseless terror, the brutal regimes, the political instability--is a consequence of Western colonialism or foreign policy. Inherent problems with Arab and Islamic culture or a "clash of civilizations" view of terrorism isn't really discussed. It is important to note, however, that this does not manifest itself nearly strongly enough to make this a polemic or anything like that; the one-star reviews are completely hyperbolic when they discuss this problem. For a distinct view, I would recommend work by historian Efraim Karsh.

Overall, this was a worthwhile read and an excellent overall survey, particularly for someone (such as myself!) who hasn't previously studied the middle east as a whole. I recommend it. 5 stars.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The kindle version leaves a little something to be desired 19 avril 2015
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I purchased the kindle version of this book as part of the required reading for a History class I am taking. The book is well-written and informative. There have been many times that I have used this book as the main source for papers and discussion assignments. It gives a comprehensive history of the Middle East, including the roles of Islam, interference and support from the West and East, and how the countries we know today came into existence. The only reason I did not give the book 5 stars is because the kindle version does not have page numbers. If I were reading this book for my own enjoyment, this would not have been a problem, but because I needed this book for a class, it was difficult to quote the book as a source with no page numbers. I had to use the Index a lot to count back or forward to the page I needed. The Index is also cut off, so the first two words or so of each entry are cut off, which makes is difficult to find the topic for which I am searching. Other than these formatting issues, the book would have received 5 stars.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 10/10 Best furniture wedge ever used 22 juillet 2016
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Edition reviewed: 2nd (applies to all editions)

William Cleveland hopes to paint a detailed picture of history in “A Modern History of the Middle East;” unfortunately, his picture is painted like a blind Picasso wearing a blindfold—poorly corresponding to reality.
Cleveland is detailed, explains foreign terms well, gives an accurate history of the Ottomans, and the book’s inclusion of maps would make Bilbo gleeful. Thus end the positives.

In the preface to the second edition, Cleveland views the terms 'modernization' and 'Westernization' as “hav[ing] taken on connotations that are either value-laden or culturally judgmental, or both" (pp xiv). He substitutes these words with ‘transformation,’ one he thinks better suited to describe the Western style changes of modernization that occurred in the Middle East (notice the easy use of the two words he decides to forego). It is unclear to this reader why he views the term ‘Western’ as culturally judgmental and uses the romantic ‘transformation;’ the term ‘reformation’ would have better suited Cleveland for accuracy.

Concerning accuracy, three claims of Cleveland’s will now be examined, all ringing pots and pans in the middle of the night. The first deals with Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, who “appeared willing to cooperate with the British administration in preventing acts of violence,” and who “was more moderate than [the Zionists and Arab Nationalists] acknowledge[d]” (pp. 243-44). Cleveland continues by saying that “until the outbreak of violence in 1936, the mufti urged restraint on his followers and demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the British in seeking a negotiated solution to the question of Jewish immigrants.” Hajj Amin? The same one who “received less votes for [the position of mufti] than did three other candidates,” [1] was “an impassioned Arab xenophobe, a preacher of venom and destruction against his nation’s and his family’s enemies,” [2] who instated a pogrom against the Jews, evaded British arrest, and “was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in abstentia”? [3] The same Hajj Amin who bolted to Nazi Germany, and who met and “sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East”? [4] The same Hajj Amin whose “henchmen also insured he would have no opposition by systematically killing Palestinians from rival clans who were discussing cooperation with the Jews?” [5] Yes, the same Hajj Amin proclaimed in songs of moderation by Cleveland, who mentions none of these facts.

The second concerns the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Cleveland writes that “[t]he legend of a defenseless, new-born Israel facing the onslaught of hordes of Arab soldiers” as “not correspond[ing] to reality” (p. 260). He makes a contrast between the amount of Arab soldiers and the Haganah (60,000 men, putting a 10,000 man difference in favor of the Haganah), but clarifies that “[n]umbers of course, do not tell the whole story” (p. 261). Truly, the whole story is omitted by Cleveland, because of the 60,000 trained fighters of the Haganah, “only 18,900 were fully mobilized, armed and prepared for war.”
Cleveland proclaims that Israel won because their soldiers believed it was a life-or-death fight. Again, he is right: On May 14, the night before war, chief of operations Yigael Yadin told David Ben-Gurion, “The best we can tell you is that we have a 50-50 chance.” As for the legend of a defenseless Israel, Cleveland makes no mention that Israel’s army had no cannon or tank, and its nine airplanes were all obsolete. [6] He offers no further claim, besides misrepresented numbers, why Israel won a war in the face of not five, but seven [7] Arab armies coming against it.

Cleveland also states that “each of the Arab states participating in the invasion in fact placed its own interests first” and “the invasion of Israel was hampered from the outset by inter-Arab political rivalries” that made ready a catalyst for “confusion on the battlefield” (p. 260). It is a wonder that the Arab League was unified to mobilize five nations to annihilate the newly founded, solitary state of Israel on the same day, especially with the rallying cry of Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab-League, boasting that "[i]t will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades." [8] Surely, the war a cooperative defeat for the Arabs, and not a defeat of each nation in its own interests. The collective and pinnacle interest was, first, to annihilate Israel.

The third concerns modesty for men and women. On page 34, Cleveland makes an interesting claim concerning modesty: “The Qur’an stipulates that women-and men-should dress modestly and comport themselves discreetly, but it does not require women to veil themselves.” Did Cleveland read surah 33:59? “Prophet, enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers to draw their veils close round them. That is more proper so that they may be recognized and not be molested. God is ever forgiving and merciful (NJ Dawood).”
Or: “Enjoin believing women […] to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their finery except to their husbands [and a long list of relations]” (Surah 24:31). Sahih Al Burkahi 60:282 declares, “After Muhammad issued the command (Quran 24:31) for women to cover themselves, the women responded by tearing up sheets to cover their faces.” Cleveland also states that this veiling led to segregation of women (p. 34) - possibly true, to due to my ignorance of pre-Islamic Arabia; however, it seems ludicrous that the practice of veiling led to segregation. Rather, segregation would be the cause and veiling, the effect.

These three glaring claims of Cleveland ring an alarm: If he can whitewash these details, I can only speculate what else he errs on in his text.

Concerning Cleveland’s citations, the number of them is a meager McDonald’s hamburger without any love. Most chapters contain only one to three cited sources listed at the end of the chapter (chapters 1-4, 7-10, 12, 17, 18, 23, and 24). These citations are usually direct quotations used to convey only one point and not the many ideas he lays out over several pages. Chapter 7 contains two sources but from only one book, Albert Hourani’s “Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age,” and chapter 18 only contains one cited source. The chapter with the most sources, “The Iranian Revolution” contains the most cited sources (12) and is perhaps the best written in the book. The 22 page Selective Bibliography details many sources in long paragraphs--it is a wonder he did not reference them more. For instance, on page 74 Cleveland names and paraphrases the historian Marshall Hodgson without referencing him in chapter four’s end notes. Instead, it must be ventured the original source is Hodgson’s “The Venture of Islam,” listed in the bibliography. On page 33, Cleveland makes the claim that “[p]olygamy was unlimited in Pre-Islamic Arabia” and that the Qur’an was thoughtful to have a sign stating, “Tut Tut! Only four wives, man!” He provides no source for this claim.

Often too, he cites groups of people and lists no one from the group, presumably since he forgot their phone numbers. For instance, on page 8, Cleveland says, "Historians have suggested that Mecca was in a state of transition between the vanishing tribal ways and a nascent urbanism spawned by merchant capitalism.” I have no doubt of this claim, but he names no historians which have suggested it. On page 26 he cites, "Some scholars..." and on page 28, "Certain modern Muslim writers...", but Cleveland fails to mention a name. This causes frustration for those who wish to delve more into the subjects presented, fact-check, or both.
Consequentially, this book reads more like a lecture with added citations than a well thought out paper. This would not detract from Cleveland’s writing if only he took the time to state where his information came from. Scholarly integrity implies knowing where information comes from and stating it; this has a glaring absence of it. To Cleveland’s credit, the chapters on the Ottoman Empire and Iran are accurate, though the all the other chapters would do well to be taken with a salt shaker.

Other than these injunctions, Cleveland's book is a knowledgeable half built house with a sandy foundation. Cleveland’s text is always sluggish but detailed; however, it is a bore to the eyes and a struggle for the average consciousness.
To readers with little to no knowledge of the Middle East, take a note from alcohol in Saudi Arabia and be absent from this book. To all other readers, do the same.

[1] Sachar, Howard. "The History of Israel." 170.
[2] ibid
[3] Bard, Mitchell. "Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict." 26.
[4] "The Holocaust: The Mufti and the Führer." [...]
[5] Bard, Mitchell. "Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict." 27.
[6] "Israeli War of Independence: Background & Overview." [...]
[7] Sachar, Howard. "The History of Israel." 315.
[8] "Israeli War of Independence: Background & Overview." [...]
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good, Quality, In Depth Book 5 mars 2014
Par Eve Olson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I had never studied any Middle Eastern history before, and this book was very thorough and clear about a lot of things. It could have been organized a bit better, but I can't see how it could have been much more helpful.
It was required reading for my Modern Middle Eastern Studies class, and after reading a chapter, I was usually prepared for the lecture.
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