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The Middle East: 2000 Years of History from the Rise of Christianity to the Present Day (History of civilisation)

Lewis, Bernard

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This wide-ranging book charts the successive transformations of the Middle East, beginning with the two great empires, Roman and Persian, which disputed the Middle East 2000 years ago; the development of monotheism and the spread of Christianity; the rapid rise and spread of Islam over a vast area; the invasion of the Mongol hordes of Ghengis Khan; the rise of the Ottoman Turks in Anatolia, the Mamluks in Egypt and the Safavid shahs in Persia; the peak and decline of the great Ottoman state; the changing balance of power between the Muslim and Christian worlds; and the overwhelming impact, in modern times, of Western ideas and technology, and the attempts to reverse them.

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To gain a better understanding of contemporary Middle Eastern culture and society, which is steeped in tradition, one should look closely at its history. Bernard Lewis, Professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East, spans 2000 years of this region's history, searching in the past for answers to questions that will inevitably arise in the future.

Drawing on material from a multitude of sources, including the work of archaeologists and scholars, Lewis chronologically traces the political, economical, social, and cultural development of the Middle East, from Hellenization in antiquity to the impact of westernization on Islamic culture. Meticulously researched, this enlightening narrative explores the patterns of history that have repeated themselves in the Middle East.

From the ancient conflicts to the current geographical and religious disputes between the Arabs and the Israelis, Lewis examines the ability of this region to unite and solve its problems and asks if, in the future, these unresolved conflicts will ultimately lead to the ethnic and cultural factionalism that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.

About the Author:

Bernard Lewis, a world-respected authority on Islamic and Middle Eastern history, is Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, where he has been since 1974. Born in London in 1916, he was Professor of the History of the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1949-74. His numerous books on the Middle and Near East have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian .

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Lewis, Bernard Author
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