Contact Author Middle Eastern Regret: Regression through Modernization How is it that 16th century states throughout the Middle East strove towards but failed to reach a state of economic and technological superiority? How, with policies that seemed to push them further up the ladder of global greatness, did they come tumbling down into the hands of colonialist and imperialist suppression? What choices did Middle Eastern empires make that sent them down a backward path to the subservience of Western desires? James Gelvin, through his book, The Modern Middle East: A History , sheds a shining light on these questions, and this article aims to recapitulate the central arguments that explain the seesawing status of these nations, as well as how what we have come to refer as the modern Middle East came to rise. Richard Lachmann, through States and Power , gave us an illuminating look at how the evolution of the modern nation state influenced the way the world was connected and interconnected.
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Start your review of The Modern Middle East: A History Write a review Shelves: nonfiction , history , current-affairs , politics This is a brisk and pretty informative introductory survey of the history of the Middle East, in which Gelvin attempts to explain contemporary events in the region by looking at how two key forces of modernity have shaped it.
The first is global capitalism; the second, the system of nation-states. Some things just have to be left out. This is a brisk and pretty informative introductory survey of the history of the Middle East, in which Gelvin attempts to explain contemporary events in the region by looking at how two key forces of modernity have shaped it.
However, I did think he could have spent a little more time, if not expanding on certain areas, then on thinking some of his ideas through a little more. No doubt there will be some interesting comparisons to be made between this version of the book and its successor. It was fine. Considering that I read this in conjunction with really good history books about the modern middle east sowing crisis wink wink , this one really fell flat.
Very vague and overarching with not a lot of focus put into any particular section apart from some weird ones. Also too lenient on the US for my personal taste, but thats just me. I did appreciate the documents section at the end of each major part where the author put a bunch of primary sources, but they were very Meh.
I did appreciate the documents section at the end of each major part where the author put a bunch of primary sources, but they were very handpicked, which of course would happen but it still stings when you can clearly tell they were cherry-picked. Depending on the book you read, the bias can be very strong. For those that really want to know the truth and see how the Middle East grew and developed historically, one needs a book that can show the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
James L. Gelvins The Modern Middle East is one book history lovers need to read. This book does not spend an exorbitant time on ancient history, but it does give it over twenty pages of discussion. From there, the Studying the Middle East is not always easy. From there, the book dives into the modern world of the Middle East. When the author states modern, he is not talking just the twenty-first century. He begins his detailed analysis in the s as so many events during that period lay the ground work for the issues and triumphs of this century.
The print of this book is very small. Though there are over three hundred pages of reading, the amount of information is much more than a standard book of that size. If you have trouble reading small print, this book could prove to be a problem for you. There are several things that make this book such a great resource aside from the numerous pages of reading.
The author has included pictures and maps which helps those that are visual learners. Gelvin also includes biographical sketches, a timeline, excerpts from various documents, as well as a glossary. The glossary can come in handy when you are not familiar with Middle Eastern terms or titles. The timeline is great for keeping the events in order and as a reference.
What are the disadvantages to this book? This is an academic book and not a summer beach reading book. What are the advantages of this book?
The Modern Middle East: A History
Reviews "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. 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. 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.
Review: James Gelvin's 'The Modern Middle East: A History'
James L. Gelvin
The Modern Middle East