The Islamic Near East and North Africa: An Annotated Guide to Books in English for Non-Specialists

The Islamic Near East and North Africa: An Annotated Guide to Books in English for Non-Specialists

The Islamic Near East and North Africa: An Annotated Guide to Books in English for Non-Specialists

The Islamic Near East and North Africa: An Annotated Guide to Books in English for Non-Specialists

Excerpt

This Guide is a highly selective list of books chosen from among the best works available: "standard" items, and some not so "standard," which in the compiler's judgment will stimulate the interest of the non-expert reader, will help him to understand various aspects of the region (including Cyprus, Afghanistan, and Mauritania) from ca. 600 A.D. to the present, will meet his basic information needs, and will bibliographically direct his first steps as he moves beyond the material found in the books listed.

The Guide is intended to help the library respond to the needs of its readers by enabling it to acquire conveniently and quickly a well-rounded collection of works of permanent value, and to develop its collection to whatever depth is desired in individual topics.Because it is selective, the Guide is by no means a comprehensive list of all "standard" works, although such a list can be compiled from the bibliographies listed herein.

There are two main elements in the Guide: First, a basic collection of books (the numbered items). These works document the major aspects of Near Eastern history and life and represent the main disciplines through which the region is studied.They are the foundations for study, whatever its level of scholarship may be. They are, specifically as indicated in the annotations, the works that any library should purchase and that any student should read first. Second, the supplementary listings. These listings are provided in annotations of basic items, and in certain topical subdivisions for which there are no comprehensive systematic works that could be considered basic items. These are intended for the use of readers who wish to pursue specific topics in greater depth. They are generally the standard works that budding specialists must read after their basic studies.

Each section was treated independently of the others when selecting books, in an attempt to cover each topic and discipline systematically within the overall goals of the Guide. Therefore, each topic contains basic works for both readers and libraries: some items will not be essential purchases for any but large libraries but should be read by anyone interested in the topic.To facilitate purchase of the most appropriate basic representative works by libraries of various sizes, there is a section of special lists in the appendix of the Guide, while the annotations and codes provide additional assistance.

SELECTIVE PROCESS

Working from a list of works tentatively chosen for inclusion, the author sought to ascertain the scientific and educational consensus on which are the best works on each topic by scanning many bibliographies item by item. The bibliographies and footnotes of the individual works were also examined, as were lists and reviews in periodicals such as Choice, Library Journal (both of which regularly include many books on the region), the Middle East Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies . . .

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