Middle East History

Middle East

Middle East, term traditionally applied by western Europeans to the countries of SW Asia and NE Africa lying W of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Thus defined it includes Cyprus, the Asian part of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, the countries of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait), and Egypt and Libya. The area was viewed as midway between Europe and East Asia (traditionally called the Far East). The term is sometimes used in a cultural sense to mean the group of lands in that part of the world predominantly Islamic in culture, thus including the remaining states of N Africa as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the 20th cent. the Middle East has been the scene of political turmoil and major warfare, including World War I, World War II, the Arab-Israeli Wars, the Iran-Iraq War and the Persian Gulf Wars.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

A Concise History of the Middle East
Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.
Westview Press, 1999 (6th edition)
A History of the Modern Middle East
William L. Cleveland.
Westview Press, 2000 (2nd edition)
Western Imperialism in the Middle East 1914-1958
D. K. Fieldhouse.
Oxford University Press, 2006
The Shaping of the Modern Middle East
Bernard Lewis.
Oxford University Press, 1994
Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923
Efraim Karsh; Inari Karsh.
Harvard University Press, 2001
The Pre-Islamic Middle East
Martin Sicker.
Praeger Publishers, 2000
State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East
Roger Owen.
Routledge, 2004 (3rd edition)
Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945
Beverley Milton-Edwards; Peter Hinchcliffe.
Routledge, 2004 (2nd edition)
Israel or Palestine? Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Hasan Afif El-Hasan.
Algora, 2010
The Cold War and the Middle East
Yezid Sayigh; Avi Shlaim.
Clarendon Press, 1997
The Modern Middle East: A Sourcebook for History
Camron Michael Amin; Benjamin C. Fortna; Elizabeth Frierson.
Oxford University Press, 2006
Is There a Middle East? The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept
Michael E. Bonine; Abbas Amanat; Michael Ezekiel Gasper.
Stanford University Press, 2012
A Political Chronology of the Middle East
David Lea.
Europa Publications, 2001
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