Synopses & Reviews
The eighth edition of Arthur Goldschmidt’s widely acclaimed text has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment. Written for undergraduate college students, the text assumes no prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history. It focuses on the evolution of Islamic institutions and culture, the influence of the West, the modernization efforts of Middle Eastern governments, the struggle of various peoples for political independence, the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the reassertion of Islamic values and power, the aftermath of the Gulf War, and issues surrounding the Palestinian Question. The eighth edition brings new discussion to the post-9/11 political developments and surveys terrorism in the Middle East, the Iraq War, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
'"Our students and faculty alike have found this to be a well-organized, comprehensive, balanced, and exceptionally readable textbook. The authors blend significant historical detail with timely political analysis in a cogent style that is compelling and lucid. The addition of frequent biographical sketches and side-bars on major events or political terms bring additional features that make this a compelling and one of a kind introduction to the Middle East."
—Donald Wagner, North Park University, Chicago
"This review and update of A Concise History of the Middle East
makes it once again the premier text for the study of the Middle East. Goldschmidt and Davidson’s well-written and solidly argued analyses of the most important and crucial developments of Middle Eastern history and politics … could not be timelier. … It will be a favorite of students and professors alike."
—Robert Olson, University of Kentucky
'"This is a text that breathes life into the history it presents. The authors both care deeply about the region—and both recognize the responsibility of their American readers (their primary readers) to understand, and in a general sense sympathize, with the life struggles of the people whose history they present—and whose history has become increasingly intertwined with American global interests, often times, as they recognize and relate, to the detriment of people in the Middle East. The authors are not afraid to spell out these complexities in a style that is at once accessible and gently provocative. This is a text with personality."
—Joel Gordon, University of Arkansas
'"As someone who has encountered the run of good, fair and middling texts on the Middle East, I can only offer unmixed praise for the new edition of A Concise History of the Middle East
by Art Goldschmidt and Lawrence Davidson. Their narrative of the region\'s quite long history, too often opaque to Westerners, is sparklingly clear and straightforward for even the \'general reader\'. They meticulously avoid bias, especially when they explore the tumultuous factors of modernization and westernization in battle against residual forces of ethno-cultural traditionalism. Throughout their remarkable text, they balance a clear treatment of politics and diplomacy, familiar from earlier generations of scholarship with insights into the region\'s historically evolving norms of society and culture."
—Mark Seifter, Lehigh Carbon Community College'
The classic, bestselling textbook on the history of the Middle East by renowned scholar Arthur Goldschmidt, updated to reflect the latest scholarship and recent events in that turbulent region.
About the Author
Arthur Goldschmidt Jr., is Professor Emeritus of Middle East History at Pennsylvania State University. He is (with Lawrence Davidson) the author of A Concise History of the Middle East, Eighth Edition, and is the author as well of Modern Egypt: Foundation of a Nation-State, Second Edition. He is the recipient of the Amoco Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching and the 2000 Middle East Studies Association Mentoring Award. Lawrence Davidson is Professor of History at West Chester University. He is the author of several books, including America's Palestine and Islamic Fundamentalism.