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War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History, Revised and Updated

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
"Remarkable...breathtaking in its scope and historical precision, this is highly recommended volume for both publivc and academic libraries.—Library Journal.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published June 1st 1994)
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Yonis Gure
Jul 04, 2014 Yonis Gure rated it liked it
The problem with writing a concise history spanning several decades on a region as diverse and complex as the Middle East is that generalizations and oversimplifications become necessary, and anyone who isn’t familiar with the subject matter isn’t given any historical context or any analysis to help put the scenario(s) in a larger perspective in relation to the wider world. Now, with that said, I think Avi Shlaim, for the most part, does a decent job combating this conundrum. He lucidly pieces t ...more
Sep 03, 2015 William rated it liked it
I was hoping for more, but not surprised that the book didn't deliver. This was a good book when it was published in 1995, but twenty years later it's too dated to be very useful. Shlaim is the go-to authority on the diplomatic history of the Middle East and he does quite a good job of distilling roughly 80 years of history into a small book. He begins with the break-up of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and takes the reader through the Oslo Accords and their immediate aftermath. While he d ...more
Engy Moussa
Jun 09, 2012 Engy Moussa rated it liked it
So far So good :)I really love simple history book <3

Ok now that I am done with the book, I could fairly say that it was very informative and enlightening on many issues in the political arena concerning the Middle East. In short, it was a good read; the first history book or kind of academic book that I read outside my classes's requirement. I highly recommend it as it is easy to read, concise and to a large extent objective or rather it is not bias to the West in its analysis and presentati
Feb 18, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
Avi Shlaim provides a very informative and clear overview of the past 100 years of conflict in the Middle East. There are places I wished he would spend more time and go into more detail. And he also seems to waste the last 40 pages "looking to the future" and prescribing a very very optimistic US foreign policy. Now, 16 years after the book was written, these simply seem irrelevant and outdated. The first 100 pages were very helpful, though, especially supplemented with wikipedia.
John Hubbard
Jun 22, 2016 John Hubbard rated it liked it
I learned quite a lot from this nice overview. The eras of modern Middle Eastern history are divided very simply, i.e. Pax Britanica, Pax Americana, etc. that will surely help me remember this well.
Grindy Stone
Jan 13, 2017 Grindy Stone rated it liked it
If you're looking for a slim one-volume summary of the Middle East encompassing the period between the fall of the Ottomans and the mid-1990s, then this is the book for you. There is little mention of the Saudis in the book, though. Also, the author at the end pooh-poohs the idea of a coming clash between West and Middle East as being a culture clash, which since the book was written may be a tough premise for him to defend.
Sep 30, 2008 Aubrey rated it really liked it
This thin little book is a concise and understandable overview of the conflicts in the middle east from the decline of the Ottoman phase at the end of World War I to 1995, when this book was written. I understand so much more about the struggles of the area as well as the conflicts between the states and am not at all surprised that we are now where we are in regards to that part of the world.
Sep 13, 2010 Graham rated it really liked it
An excellent introduction to the issues.

It particularly opened my eyes to the role of the Cold War in shaping various conflicts and America's involvement in the region. I also learnt (to my surprise) that George Bush Sr. had a more even handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than Bill Clinton who took an 'Israel first' approach.
Jul 08, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who supports Israel, indescriminately

It's funny that such a small book could contain so much information.

I wonder what would have happened in Iraq if the Bush regime had read this book before deciding to invade.

"We'll be greeted as liberators!"

What great optimism in the face of reality.
A very brief synopsis of many of the major conflicts in the Middle East throughout the last hundred years and the various world superpowers' (from the colonial British Empire to the Soviet Union and the post-Cold War United States) involvement in them.
Joe Haack
Aug 17, 2016 Joe Haack rated it really liked it
Overall, helpful to this reader. Though I knew going in it would be outdated. I have much to learn. This was a good base layer.
Dec 24, 2008 Drift rated it it was amazing
This was a concise look at the Wars that are occurring in the Mid East. Also looks at the roles of the US.
Dec 06, 2009 RP rated it really liked it
Short and sweet...well, as short and sweet as Middle Eastern history can get.
May 19, 2009 Holli rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Nice, quick, easy to read overview of the Middle East stinkfest. Blaiming the British is always fun.
Ghada Arafat
Dec 27, 2011 Ghada Arafat rated it really liked it
A good a clear cut history of the conflict. I would recommend it for newbies and experts on the region.
Travis Suzuki
Dec 02, 2013 Travis Suzuki rated it really liked it
Great analysis of the Middle East from a non-western perspective.
Leo Africanus
May 09, 2007 Leo Africanus rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, arabicity
A concise and insightful analysis of the Middle East conflict.
Sam rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2015
Victoria Holden
Victoria Holden rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2014
Donovan rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2011
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2017
Jonathan K Frick
Jonathan K Frick rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2014
Casey rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2012
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Jul 22, 2014
Mark rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2012
John Clark
John Clark rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2014
Alex rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2007
Komal Chamling
Komal Chamling rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2014
Sara rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2008
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Olivia Raiche-tanner rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2016
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Avi Shlaim FBA (born October 31, 1945) is an Iraqi-born British/Israeli historian. He is emeritus professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the British Academy. Shlaim is considered one of Israel's New Historians, a group of Israeli scholars who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel.
More about Avi Shlaim...

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