A Short History of the Middle East: From the Rise of Islam to Modern Times


The present volume has grown out of a course of lectures delivered in 1945-47 at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies to British students who required a general grounding in Middle East history and current affairs to assist in fitting them for active careers in that region, but not to make them historical specialists. The views expressed throughout were not required to conform to any official programme or doctrine; there was no access to unpublished official information; and a fortiori the Centre bears no responsibility for the new material introduced into the later editions. Besides minor amendments to the earlier chapters, Chapter VIII has been entirely re-written for the author by a colleague in the American University of Beirut, Mr. Arthur Mills. In the present edition the final chapter has been brought down to the autumn of 1956; an appendix has been added on an apparently neglected aspect of the Palestine question which helps to explain a good deal of the later impasse; and a number of important new works have again been added to the List of Authorities.

In the second edition it still seemed necessary to defend the use of the term Middle East as against the formerly-current 'Near East' or the geographically inadequate 'South-West Asia'. No such defense seems any longer necessary in 1954.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1955
  • 3rd


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