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The Modern Middle East


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About the Author

James L. Gelvin is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. An award-winning teacher, he is the author of The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know (2017), The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (2015), The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (2014), Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (1999), and numerous shorter works. He is also coeditor of Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print (2013).


"This is without question the best survey of modern Middle Eastern history currently available in English. It is comprehensive, lucid, nuanced, and up to date, but it is also a good read--very well written and entirely accessible to students and general readers alike. I recommend it without hesitation to anyone who wants to acquire a solid understanding of the history of this region from the late Ottoman period onward, and it's a must-read for people who really want to make sense of what is going on in this region today."--Zachary Lockman, New York University
"Gelvin's book is among the very best overviews of the modern Middle East. Its great virtue is that he lets readers in on the really exciting thing about this history--the debate over what has driven the region's dramatic developments. He is also attentive to the history of social classes--beyond just the political elite--and to that of major social movements. It is an essential text for our time."--Juan Cole, University of Michigan
"The Modern Middle East is by far the best textbook for introductory and survey courses. In a humorous and conversational style, it offers a substantial analytical and interpretive framework, not just a litany of dry facts that most students will likely forget after their exams. The book accomplishes two objectives at once: it teaches students how to think about history and it introduces them to many of the key issues of the modern Middle East."--Joel Beinin, Stanford University
"James Gelvin's The Modern Middle East: A History is an excellent introductory text on the history of the Middle East. Through a lively, well-written narrative, Gelvin emphasizes that the Middle East today cannot be understood without looking at the social, economic, cultural, and political history of the region beginning in the seventeenth century. The work also stresses that the history of the Middle East needs to be understood within the global context of the emergence of nation-states, the development of the global economy, and imperialism. Students will benefit from the variety of methodologies used by the author and they will experience each era firsthand through well-chosen primary sources."--Robert Bond, MiraCosta College
"The Modern Middle East: A History provides an accessible, engaging history of the region. Its real strength is its ability to render the region's complicated history accessible to a population of undergraduates, most of them born as the most recent spate of American wars in the region began."--Nova Robinson, Seattle University
The Modern Middle East: A History is the best in its genre. Its primary strengths include its breadth, its analytical investments and sharpness, and the simplicity and accessibility of its prose."--Charles Anderson, Western Washington University

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