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The Middle East: 2000 Years of History From…

The Middle East: 2000 Years of History From the Rise of Christianity to…

by Bernard Lewis

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1,2551210,049 (3.56)15
In this immensely readable and wide ranging book,Bernard Lewis charts the successive transformations of the Middle East,beginning with the two great empires,the Roman and the Persian,and covering the growth of Christianity,the rise and spread of Islam,the waves of invaders from the east,the Mongol hordes of Jengiz Khan,the rise of the Ottoman Turks,and the changing balance of power between the Muslim and Christian worlds.THE MIDDLE EAST is a brilliant survey of the history and civilisations of the region.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Anyone who wants to understand the Middle East should start with Bernard Lewis. ( )
  TDWolsey | Dec 8, 2016 |
A very nice narration of the happenings in the Middle East for the past nearly 2 millenia. Anyone wanting to know about this most misunderstood region should read this book first.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
A very nice narration of the happenings in the Middle East for the past nearly 2 millenia. Anyone wanting to know about this most misunderstood region should read this book first.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
A really interesting book about a subject I knew very little about. The first 100 or so pages were a bit of a struggle as they seemed to be a list of names and dates which I struggled to remember. It also rushed through the more modern history of the region, choosing instead to focus mainly on the rise of Islam and how this played out in the middle-east. All in all though I feel that I learned things from this book and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  fothpaul | Jul 21, 2015 |
Too much for my taste on the twentieth century, and not enough on the pre-Ottoman world, but that can be forgiven. The slightly oily feeling I got reading the last few chapters, however, cannot: Lewis seems to know an awful lot about the middle east, but, as with many biographers, all that knowledge seems to have made him less, rather than more, keen. The take-away of the last half of the book seems to be "if only they'd act more like Americans!" One day, we can wistfully hope, Arabs, Turks and Persians will embrace the system that has laid waste to their world over the last two centuries. Only then will they be able to re-take their rightful place at the bottom of the world's food chain. That weirdness aside, the first half is very readable and interesting, the second half intermittently interesting and very repetitive. But this book really tries to cover far too much, too quickly. There's no need for chapters about generic processes of modernization ("And then we gave the Arabs newspapers! And then we gave them coffee! And then we gave them...").

Finally, it's downright surreal to read a book about the Middle East written not only pre-Arab-Spring, but pre-9/11. To put it mildly, Lewis was *not* a good prognosticator, and his repeated references to (unnamed) democratic governments in the area seems laughable this side of the winter of 2010/11. ( )
1 vote stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The distinguished scholar Bernard Lewis has written a gem of a book, eminently readable and full of wonderful insights and brilliant aperçus. It combines narrative and analysis in just the right proportions and embraces the whole sweep of the history of the Near and Middle East, starting as far back as late antiquity. The study then moves forward, step by step, through the far-flung empires of the caliphs and sultans to the more recent emergence of the Arab world, after a long period of subjection and passivity, to independence and self-assertion. Professor Lewis concludes his book with some parting thoughts, elegantly and persuasively presented, on the reasons for the Middle East’s present uneasy confrontation with the challenges posed by European (and more recently American) modernity.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernard Lewisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Delft, Pieter vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lammers, GeertjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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