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Best Middle East Books You Should Enjoy

Looking for the best Middle East books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

1. International Relations of the Middle East (2019)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyAs the most authoritative and comprehensive overview of international relations in the Middle East, this highly respected textbook is designed to help students get to grips with this fascinating and challenging subject area. A team of expert scholars combines a history of the region with analysis of key themes, actors, developments, and conflicts, to expose students to a wide range of perspectives and approaches and encourage them to think critically in order to draw their own conclusions.Throughout the text, a range of features support students’ learning, including discussion questions and case studies, which demonstrate the relevance of…
Author(s): Louise Fawcett

2. All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2008)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyWith a thrilling narrative that sheds much light on recent events, this national bestseller brings to life the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that ousted the country’s elected prime minister, ushered in a quarter-century of brutal rule under the Shah, and stimulated the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Selected as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and The Economist, it now features a new preface by the author on the folly of attacking Iran. #32,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #6 in Iran History #52 in Middle Eastern Politics #40 in Israel & Palestine…
Author(s): Stephen Kinzer

3. The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know® (2017)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyIn the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, the American invasion of Iraq, and the Arab uprisings of 2010-11, a new Middle East has emerged. The Syrian civil war has displaced half the country’s population, and ISIS and other jihadi groups thrive in the political vacuum there and in Iraq, setting a new standard for political violence. Meanwhile, regimes in Egypt and Bahrain have become even more repressive after the uprisings there, and Libya and Yemen have virtually ceased to exist as states. The hallmarks of this new Middle East are rebellion and repression, proxy wars, sectarian strife, the rise of the Islamic State,…
Author(s): James L. Gelvin

4. Politics and Society in the Contemporary Middle East (2019)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyThe rise and decline of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Deepening authoritarianism in Turkey. The return to military-led rule in Egypt. The impact of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Saudi Arabia. Heightened sectarian tensions throughout the region. These are among the many current topics covered in the third edition of the acclaimed Politics and Society in the Contemporary Middle East. With the Arab Spring uprisings now viewed with the perspective of time, this new edition also provides an accessible analysis of the longer-term political currents, changes, and dynamics set in motion by those…
Author(s): Michelle Penner Angrist

5. The Middle East (2016)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyIn the Fourteenth Edition of The Middle East, Ellen Lust brings important new coverage to this comprehensive, balanced, and superbly researched text. In clear prose, Lust and her outstanding contributors explain the many complex changes taking place across the region. New to this edition is a country profile chapter on Sudan by Fareed Hassan.  All country chapters now address domestic and regional conflict more explicitly, and all tables, figures, boxes, and maps have been fully updated with the most recent data and information….
Author(s): Ellen M. Lust

6. Contemporary Politics in the Middle East (2018)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyThe fourth edition of this dynamic and popular text provides a comprehensive introduction to contemporary politics in the Middle East. Fully revised and updated throughout, it features a new chapter on the Arab Spring and its aftermath, plus a wide range of vibrant case studies, data, questions for class discussion and suggestions for further reading. Purposefully employing a clear thematic structure, the book begins by introducing key concepts and contentious debates before outlining the impact of colonialism, and the rise and relevance of Arab nationalism in the region. Major political issues affecting the…
Author(s): Beverley Milton-Edwards

7. The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2017)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyThe modern Middle East emerged out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, when Britain and France partitioned the Ottoman Arab lands into several new colonial states. The following period was a charged and transformative time of unrest. Insurgent leaders, trained in Ottoman military tactics and with everything to lose from the fall of the Empire, challenged the mandatory powers in a number of armed revolts. This is a study of this crucial period in Middle Eastern history, tracing the period through popular political movements and the experience of colonial rule. In…
Author(s): Michael Provence

8. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2014)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyThe Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive…
Author(s): Scott Anderson

9. America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (2017)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyFrom the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight. During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound…
Author(s): Andrew J. Bacevich

10. The Modern Middle East: A History (2015)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyExtensively revised and updated in the wake of the Arab uprisings, the changes that they fostered, and the fault lines that they exposed, the fourth edition of The Modern Middle East: A History explores how the forces associated with global modernity have shaped the social, economic, cultural, and political life in the region over the course of the past 500 years. Beginning with the first glimmerings of the current international state and economic systems in the sixteenth century, this book examines the impact of imperial and imperialist legacies, the great nineteenth-century transformation, cultural continuities and upheavals,…
Author(s): James L. Gelvin

11. A History of the Modern Middle East (2016)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyA History of the Modern Middle East examines the profound and often dramatic transformations of the region in the past two centuries, from the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, through the challenge of Western imperialism, to the impact of US foreign policies. Built around a framework of political history, while also carefully integrating social, cultural, and economic developments, this expertly crafted account provides readers with the most comprehensive, balanced and penetrating analysis of the modern Middle East. The sixth edition has been revised to provide a thorough…
Author(s): William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton

12. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (2008)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyBeginning with Jesus’ birth, Ken Bailey leads you on a kaleidoscopic study of Jesus throughout the four Gospels. Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus’ relationship to women, and especially Jesus’ parables. Through it all, Bailey employs his trademark expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead you into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. With a sure but gentle hand, Bailey lifts away the obscuring layers of modern Western interpretation to reveal Jesus…
Author(s): Kenneth E. Bailey

13. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (2007)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyA sweeping and dramatic history of the last half century of conflict in the Middle East from an award-winning journalist who has covered the region for over forty years, The Great War for Civilisation unflinchingly chronicles the tragedy of the region from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution; from the American hostage crisis in Beirut to the Iran-Iraq War; from the 1991 Gulf War to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. A book of searing drama as well as lucid, incisive analysis, The Great War for Civilisation is a work of major importance for today’s…
Author(s): Robert Fisk

14. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (2009)

Best Middle East Books You Should EnjoyThe Middle East has long been a region of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and ambitions. All of these conflicts―including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis, and the violent challenges posed by Iraq’s competing sects―are rooted in the region’s political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed by the Allies after the First World War.In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this…
Author(s): David Fromkin

Best Middle East Books You Should Enjoy

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some middle east books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Landscapes: Best Practices and Perspectives Across Europe and the Middle East

Author(s): Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis, Kyriacos Themistocleous, Branka Cuca, Athos Agapiou, Vasiliki Lysandrou, Rosa Lasaponara, Nicola Masini, Gunter Schreier
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2020, Size: 27 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2407004

Socioeconomic Protests in MENA and Latin America: Egypt and Tunisia in Interregional Comparison

Author(s): Irene Weipert-Fenner, Jonas Wolff
Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2408448

Religious Minorities in Non-Secular Middle Eastern and North African States

Author(s): Mark Tessler
Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2408481

China and the Middle East

Author(s): James M. Dorsey
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2249810

Iran’s Foreign Policy After the Nuclear Agreement

Author(s): Farhad Rezaei
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250882

Politics and Digital Literature in the Middle East

Author(s): Nele Lenze
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250888

Muslim Divorce in the Middle East

Author(s): Jessica Carlisle
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Pivot, Year: 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250937

New Cities and Community Extensions in Egypt and the Middle East

Author(s): Sahar Attia, Zeinab Shafik, Asmaa Ibrahim
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 14 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251123

The Shah of Iran, the Iraqi Kurds, and the Lebanese Shia

Author(s): Arash Reisinezhad
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251576

Text Linguistics of Qur’anic Discourse: An Analysis

Author(s): Hussein Abdul-Raof
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2284730

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are absolutely record-breakers according to The Wall Street Journal, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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