The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

Synopsis

With this major revision of his classic The Middle East and the West (1964), a leading Middle East historian of our time offers a definitive and now more-timely-than-ever history of Western-Middle Eastern relations from the late seventeenth century to the present day. Fully revised to cover the volatile developments of the last three decades, The Shaping of the Modern Middle East sheds light on the climax and sudden end of the cold war, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Arab-Israeli wars, the formation and activities of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the Persian Gulf War, and the Iranian revolution. Illuminating the region's geography, culture, history, language, and religion, Lewis explores the complex and often confusing issues of Arab nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism, and responses and reactions in the Middle East to centuries of Western influence, revealing the subtlety and sophistication of this dynamic civilization as no other scholar can.

Excerpt

The nucleus of this book is a series of six public lectures delivered at Indiana University, Bloomington, between 19 March and 23 April 1963. Their theme is the relations between the Middle East and the West--the impact of both Western action and Western civilization on the Islamic peoples and societies of the Middle East, and the successive phases of Middle Eastern response. in the first chapter I have attempted to define the Middle East as a historical, geographical, and cultural entity; in the second, to show what the West has meant and means to Middle Easterners and to trace the processes of Western intrusion, influence, domination, and partial withdrawal. the next three chapters deal with political and intellectual movements in the Middle East in recent and modern times, in three main groups--liberal and socialist, patriotic and nationalist, and Islamic. the final chapter examines the place and role of the countries of the Middle East in international affairs and concludes with a consideration of some of the factors affecting Western policy toward them.

During the nearly thirty years that have passed since the delivery and publication of these lectures, vast changes have taken place in both the world and the region. the Cold War flared to a climax, inflamed the Middle East, and ended. the Soviet Union itself disintegrated, and the vast Muslim lands that had been conquered by the czars and incorporated into the Russian empire recovered their . . .

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