Synopses & Reviews
The worlds crossroads, the Middle East is the most contested and controversial area on Earth. It is also the cradle of the first great civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt and can be said to have given birth to human strivingand strife. Through photographs, maps, and the writings of highly respected authors, this book details the historical, political, cultural, and religious forces that have shaped the region and unravels for readers the enigma that is the Middle East.
Beginning with the prehistoric civilizations of the fertile crescent and continuing through the conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries, the first section of the book distills the Middle Easts sweeping, often turbulent history. From the Hittites to Alexander the Great, from the Romans to the Crusaders, from the Ottomans to the Imperialists, the Middle Easts rich tapestry of influences and identities is described with new critical insights. The books second section is devoted to the Middle Easts three great faiths, examining in depth the impact of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian beliefs on history and daily life in the Middle East.
Filled with photographs and maps that contribute to a visual understanding of the subject, Cradle & Crucible is a timely guide to this complex, enormously important area of the world.
Table of Contents
Rise and fall : a civilized prehistory, 8500 to 300 B.C. / Zahi Hawass -- Through a glass darkly : Alexander's conquest through the Crusades, 400 B.C. to A.D. 1400 / Andrew Wheatcroft -- The Ottoman age, 1400 to 1914 / Andrew Wheatcroft -- End of an age, birth of conflict, 1914-1920 / David Fromkin -- Century of strife, 1920-2002 / Sandra Mackey -- Judaism : hear, O Israel / Yossi Klein Halevi -- Christianity : and the word became flesh / Charles M. Sinnott -- Islam : the word of the Prophet / Milton Viorst.