The Middle East Today

The Middle East Today

The Middle East Today

The Middle East Today

Excerpt

Having taught several introductory college courses on the Middle East, I have been aware that there was no single adequate textbook on the area. There are many excellent volumes on different parts of the Middle East and on many of its specific problems, but none that gives to the student who has had no previous contact with the area an understanding of those basic political and social forces that shape its contemporary image.

This book is intended as a basic text, an introduction to the Middle East today, for students who have made little or no previous academic study of the region. In attempting to introduce the area as a whole and in treating each of the specific countries, I have tried to simplify many of the complicated background factors, and to present them in a fashion that will be comprehensible to the uninitiated in the area.

I have drawn my material for the text from many original and secondary sources and from my own years of experience in the Middle East as a student, journalist, and researcher. Frequently I have borrowed ideas, opinions, and concepts from those who are outstanding scholars in their fields, views with which the new student of the area should become acquainted.

The book first presents some general observations about the area as a whole, how it acquired its specific designation, what some of its general characteristics are, and what remain some of its fundamental internal differences. The beginning chapters trace the Islamic and Ottoman backgrounds and influences common to most of the countries in the Middle East. Each of the principal Middle Eastern countries is then examined . . .

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