Top Middle East History Ebook Best Sellers

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Rise and Kill First - Ronen Bergman Cover Art

Rise and Kill First

Rise and Kill First The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by  The New York Times  as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.” The Talmud says: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively. In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions. Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country’s military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world’s most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a “Mossad within the Mossad” that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism). Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel’s most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel’s targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world. “A remarkable feat of fearless and responsible reporting . . . important, timely, and informative.”—John le Carré

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Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor - Yossi Klein Halevi Cover Art

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi

New York Times bestseller "A profound and original book, the work of a gifted thinker."--Daphne Merkin, The Wall Street Journal Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli commentator and award-winning author of Like Dreamers directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes. I call you "neighbor" because I don’t know your name, or anything personal about you. Given our circumstances, "neighbor" might be too casual a word to describe our relationship. We are intruders into each other’s dream, violators of each other’s sense of home. We are incarnations of each other’s worst historical nightmares. Neighbors? Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of "the enemy." In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East. This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide. Halevi’s letters speak not only to his Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region.

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Guests of the Ayatollah - Mark Bowden Cover Art

Guests of the Ayatollah

Guests of the Ayatollah The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam by Mark Bowden

From the best-selling author of Black Hawk Down comes a riveting, definitive chronicle of the Iran hostage crisis, America’s first battle with militant Islam. On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took fifty-two Americans hostage, and kept nearly all of them hostage for 444 days. In Guests of the Ayatollah , Mark Bowden tells this sweeping story through the eyes of the hostages, the soldiers in a new special forces unit sent to free them, their radical, naïve captors, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Bowden takes us inside the hostages’ cells and inside the Oval Office for meetings with President Carter and his exhausted team. We travel to international capitals where shadowy figures held clandestine negotiations, and to the deserts of Iran, where a courageous, desperate attempt to rescue the hostages exploded into tragic failure. Bowden dedicated five years to this research, including numerous trips to Iran and countless interviews with those involved on both sides. Guests of the Ayatollah is a detailed, brilliantly re-created, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.

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Tower of the Sun: Stories from the Middle East and North Africa - Michael Totten Cover Art

Tower of the Sun: Stories from the Middle East and North Africa

Tower of the Sun: Stories from the Middle East and North Africa by Michael Totten

Prize-winning author Michael J. Totten’s gripping first-person narratives from the war zones, police states, and revolutionary capitals of the Middle East and North Africa paint a vivid picture of peoples and nations at war with themselves, each other, and—sometimes—with the rest of the world. His journeys take him from Libya under the gruesome rule of Muammar Qaddafi to Egypt before, during and after the Arab Spring; from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights in Syria on the eve of that country’s apocalyptic civil war to a camp on the Iran-Iraq border where armed revolutionaries threaten to topple the Islamic Republic regime in Tehran; from the contested streets of conflict-ridden Jerusalem to dusty outposts in the Sahara where a surreal conflict few have even heard of simmers long after it should have expired; and from war-torn Beirut and Baghdad to a lonely town in central Tunisia that seeded a storm of revolution and war that spread for thousands of miles in every direction. Tower of the Sun is a timeless close-up of one of the world’s most violent and turbulent regions that will resonate for decades to come. “A decade in the making, Tower of The Sun is not just an authoritative, intimate and lively reconnaissance of the tectonic upheavals shaking the earth from North Africa's Maghreb to Iraqi Kurdistan. It’s also a masterpiece of clear-eyed political analysis and literary journalism in the travel-diary style of Paul Theroux.” – Terry Glavin, author of The Sixth Extinction “Totten…practices journalism in the tradition of George Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in crackling, rapid-fire prose befitting the violent realities it depicts.” Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary “I can think of only a certain number of people as having risen to the intellectual and journalistic challenges of the last few years, and Michael J. Totten is one of them.” Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism “Michael J. Totten, to my mind, is one of the world’s most acute observers of Middle East politics. He is also an absolutely fearless reporter, both physically—he has explored the darkest corners of Middle East extremism—and morally.” Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners

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Israel - Daniel Gordis Cover Art

Israel

Israel A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis

Winner of the Jewish Book of the Year Award The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from Daniel Gordis, "one of the most respected Israel analysts" (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem. Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future? We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening isolation. With Israel, public intellectual Daniel Gordis offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, levelheaded, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.

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Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel - Robert Gandt Cover Art

Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel

Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel by Robert Gandt

The gripping story of how an all-volunteer air force helped defeat five Arab nations and protect the fledgling Jewish state. In 1948, only three years after the Holocaust, the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states. The invaders vowed to annihilate the tiny country and its 600,000 settlers. A second Holocaust was in the making. Outnumbered sixty to one, the Israelis had no allies, no regular army, no air force, no superpower to intercede on their behalf. The United States, Great Britain, and most of Europe enforced a strict embargo on the shipment of arms to the embattled country. In the first few days, the Arab armies overran Israel. The Egyptian air force owned the sky, making continuous air attacks on Israeli cities and army positions. Israel’s extinction seemed certain. And then came help. From the United States, Canada, Britain, France, South Africa arrived a band of volunteer airmen. Most were World War II veterans—young, idealistic, swaggering, noble, eccentric, courageous beyond measure. Many were Jews, a third were not. Most of them knowingly violated their nations’ embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. They smuggled in Messerschmitt fighters from Czechoslovakia, painting over swastikas with Israeli stars. Defying their own countries’ strict laws, the airmen risked everything—their lives, careers, citizenship—to fight for Israel. They were a small group, fewer than 150. In the crucible of war they became brothers in a righteous cause. They flew, fought, died, and, against all odds, helped save a new nation. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel’s war of independence stands as one of the most stirring—and untold—war stories of the past century.

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The Lemon Tree - Sandy Tolan Cover Art

The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

With a new afterword by the author, and a sneak preview of Sandy Tolan's new book, Children of the Stone In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR's Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.

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No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria - Rania Abouzeid Cover Art

No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria by Rania Abouzeid

This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime’s brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people’s lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.

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Islam - Karen Armstrong Cover Art

Islam

Islam A Short History by Karen Armstrong

No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular Western imagination as an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, civil war, and terrorism. Karen Armstrong's short history offers a vital corrective to this narrow view. The distillation of years of thinking and writing about Islam, it demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much richer and more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest. Islam: A Short History begins with the flight of Muhammad and his family from Medina in the seventh century and the subsequent founding of the first mosques. It recounts the origins of the split between Shii and Sunni Muslims, and the emergence of Sufi mysticism; the spread of Islam throughout North Africa, the Levant, and Asia; the shattering effect on the Muslim world of the Crusades; the flowering of imperial Islam in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries into the world's greatest and most sophisticated power; and the origins and impact of revolutionary Islam. It concludes with an assessment of Islam today and its challenges. With this brilliant book, Karen Armstrong issues a forceful challenge to those who hold the view that the West and Islam are civilizations set on a collision course. It is also a model of authority, elegance, and economy. From the Hardcover edition.

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Destiny Disrupted - Tamim Ansary Cover Art

Destiny Disrupted

Destiny Disrupted A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary

The Western narrative of world history largely omits a whole civilization. Destiny Disrupted tells the history of the world from the Islamic point of view, and restores the centrality of the Muslim perspective, ignored for a thousand years. In Destiny Disrupted , Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as it looks from a new perspective: with the evolution of the Muslim community at the center. His story moves from the lifetime of Mohammed through a succession of far-flung empires, to the tangle of modern conflicts that culminated in the events of 9/11. He introduces the key people, events, ideas, legends, religious disputes, and turning points of world history, imparting not only what happened but how it is understood from the Muslim perspective. He clarifies why two great civilizations-Western and Muslim-grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive-had somehow hijacked destiny. With storytelling brio, humor, and evenhanded sympathy to all sides of the story, Ansary illuminates a fascinating parallel to the world narrative usually heard in the West. Destiny Disrupted offers a vital perspective on world conflicts many now find so puzzling.

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Operation Thunderbolt - Saul David Cover Art

Operation Thunderbolt

Operation Thunderbolt Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History by Saul David

*By the historical consultant to the major motion picture Seven Days in Entebbe* The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David. On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe, in Uganda--ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening. Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists, and rescued all the hostages but three who were killed in the crossfire. The assault force suffered just one fatality: its commander, Yoni Netanyahu (brother of Israel's current Prime Minister.) Three of the country's greatest leaders: Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history.

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Afghanistan - Thomas Barfield Cover Art

Afghanistan

Afghanistan A Cultural and Political History by Thomas Barfield

Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily. Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.

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Seven Pillars of Wisdom - T E Lawrence Cover Art

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Seven Pillars of Wisdom A Triumph (The Authorized Doubleday/Doran Edition) by T E Lawrence

In his classic book, T.E. Lawrence—forever known as Lawrence of Arabia—recounts his role in the origin of the modern Arab world. At first a shy Oxford scholar and archaeologist with a facility for languages, he joined and went on to lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks while the rest of the world was enmeshed in World War I. With its richly detailed evocation of the land and the people Lawrence passionately believed in, its incisive portraits of key players, from Faisal ibn Hussein, the future Hashemite king of Syria and Iraq, to General Sir Edmund Allenby and other members of the British imperial forces, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an indispensible primary historical source. It helps us to understand today’s Middle East, while giving us thrilling accounts of military exploits (including the  liberation of Aqaba and Damascus), clandestine activities, and human foibles.

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The Invention of the Jewish People - Shlomo Sand & Yael Lotan Cover Art

The Invention of the Jewish People

The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand & Yael Lotan

A historical tour de force, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a groundbreaking account of Jewish and Israeli history. Exploding the myth that there was a forced Jewish exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand argues that most modern Jews descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In this iconoclastic work, which spent nineteen weeks on the Israeli bestseller list and won the coveted Aujourd’hui Award in France, Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision of Israel’s future.

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Jerusalem - Simon Sebag Montefiore Cover Art

Jerusalem

Jerusalem The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore

“This is an essential book for those who wish to understand a city that remains a nexus of world affairs.” — Booklist  (starred) Jerusalem is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, fanaticism, bloodshed, and coexistence, from King David to the 21st century, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict.   How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the “center of the world” and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs, and revelations of the men and women who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem. As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan.   In this masterful narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore brings the holy city to life and draws on the latest scholarship, his own family history, and a lifetime of study to show that the story of Jerusalem is truly the story of the world.   A New York Times Notable Book  Jewish Book Council Book of the Year

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Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present - Michael B. Oren Cover Art

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren

“Will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years.”—Christopher Dickey, Newsweek Power, Faith, and Fantasytells the remarkable story of America's 230-year relationship with the Middle East. Drawing on a vast range of government documents, personal correspondence, and the memoirs of merchants, missionaries, and travelers, Michael B. Oren narrates the unknown story of how the United States has interacted with this vibrant and turbulent region.

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My Promised Land - Ari Shavit Cover Art

My Promised Land

My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today   Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land . Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.   We meet Shavit’s great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people; the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine’s booming economy; the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism; the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda; the immigrant orphans of Europe’s Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv’s booming club scene; and today’s architects of Israel’s foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country. As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape. Praise for My Promised Land “This book will sweep you up in its narrative force and not let go of you until it is done. [Shavit’s] accomplishment is so unlikely, so total . . . that it makes you believe anything is possible, even, God help us, peace in the Middle East.” —Simon Schama, Financial Times   “[A] must-read book.” —Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times   “Important and powerful . . . the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read.” —Leon Wieseltier, The New York Times Book Review   “Spellbinding . . . Shavit’s prophetic voice carries lessons that all sides need to hear.” —The Economist   “One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years.” —The Wall Street Journal

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Catch-67 - Micah Goodman & Eylon Levy Cover Art

Catch-67

Catch-67 The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War by Micah Goodman & Eylon Levy

A controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a best-selling Israeli author Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In a balanced and insightful analysis, Micah Goodman deftly sheds light on the ideas that have shaped Israelis' thinking on both sides of the debate, and among secular and religious Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   Contrary to opinions that dominate the discussion, he shows that the paradox of Israeli political discourse is that both sides are right in what they affirm—and wrong in what they deny. Although he concludes that the conflict cannot be solved, Goodman is far from a pessimist and explores how instead it can be reduced in scope and danger through limited, practical steps. Through philosophical critique and political analysis, Goodman builds a creative, compelling case for pragmatism in a dispute where a comprehensive solution seems impossible.

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Freedom at Midnight - Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre Cover Art

Freedom at Midnight

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre

“There is no single passage in this profoundly researched book that one could actually fault. Having been there most of the time in question and having assisted at most of the encounters, I can vouch for the accuracy of its general mood. It is a work of scholarship, of investigation, research and of significance.” —James Cameron, The New York Sunday Times “ Freedom at Midnight is a panoramic spectacular of a book that reads more like sensational fiction than like history, even though it is all true….. The narrative is as lively, as informative and as richly detailed as a maharaja’s palace.” —Judson Hand, The New York Daily News “The cinematic style, including flashes back and forward and cuts from epic panoramas to clinical close-ups of people caught in the historical turmoil of the time, is disciplined by a firm, clear narrative. The book is as readable as those popular novels in which fiction is mixed with a painstakingly researched factual account.” —Neil Maxwell, The New York Review of Books “In this song of India, authors Collins and Lapierre again display their celebrated flair for the epic. Religious confrontations, the border wars, the political sacrifices are illuminated like scenes in pageant. The very sounds and odors of a finished world are resurrected……… The book’s best portrait is of the man who dwarfs the other three—Mahatma Gandhi—that tiny ascetic who for 30 years harried his British rulers with fasts and passive resistance. The most moving pages of Freedom at Midnight show him doing what battalions of soldiers could not: preventing by his frail presence the slaughter of Moslems and Hindus in Calcutta.” —J. Cocks, Time Magazine “Outrageously and endlessly fascinating is my awestruck reaction to Freedom at Midnight . The new sure-to-be bestseller by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. It is all here: maharajas and tigers, filth and squalor, extravagance and macabre sex, massacres, smells, starvation, cruelty and heroism. Collins and Lapierre have made human history breathtaking and heartbreaking.” —Margaret Manning, The Boston Globe  “No subject, I thought, as I picked up Freedom at Midnight , could be of less interest to me than a story of how Independence came to India after three centuries of British rule. I opened the book and began to flip through the photographs: here was a picture of Gandhi dressed in his loincloth going to have tea with the King of England; there was a picture of a maharaja being measured against his weight in gold; and another of thousands of vultures devouring corpses in the street. I began to read, fascinated. Here was the whole chronicle illustrated with anecdotes and masterful character sketches of how the British had come to India, how they had ruled it and how, finally, compelled by the force of economics and history, they had been forced to leave it divided…… Collins and Lapierre are such good writers that their books are so interesting that they are impossible to put down.” —J.M. Sanchez, The Houston Chronicle *** Description: The end of an empire. The birth of two nations. Seventy years ago, at midnight on August 14, 1947, the Union Jack began its final journey down the flagstaff of Viceroy’s House, New Delhi. A fifth of humanity claimed their independence from the greatest empire history has ever seen—but the price of freedom was high, as a nation erupted into riots and bloodshed, partition and war. Freedom at Midnight is the true story of the events surrounding Indian independence, beginning with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten of Burma as the last Viceroy of British India, and ending with the assassination and funeral of Mahatma Gandhi. The book was an international bestseller and achieved enormous acclaim in the United States, Italy, Spain, and France. This edition contains 20 black-and-white photos, five maps, a full bibliography, extensive notes, and a dedication from Dominique Lapierre to the memory of his longtime writing partner Larry Collins. *** About the Authors – Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre The enormous success of the international writing partnership of Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre was based on the phenomenal bestsellers Is Paris Burning? , Or I’ll Dress You in Mourning , O Jerusalem! , Freedom at Midnight , and The Fifth Horseman . The last-named work was their fifth novel. Collins and Lapierre were a unique team in that each wrote in his own language and their works were then published simultaneously in French and English before being translated into sixteen other languages. Their work was distinguished by immense attention to detail and thorough research. Since the publication of their last joint work, The Fifth Horseman , Collins has published three bestselling novels, Fall From Grace , Maze , and Black Eagles , while Lapierre published two nonfiction bestsellers, The City of Joy and Beyond Love .

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Inside the Kingdom - Robert Lacey Cover Art

Inside the Kingdom

Inside the Kingdom Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia by Robert Lacey

"It's all here-Islam, the family tree, a sea of oil and money to match, palace intrigue...This is high drama and an epic tale." -Tom Brokaw Though Saudi Arabia sits on one of the richest oil deposits in the world, it also produced fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. In this immensely important book, journalist Robert Lacey draws on years of access to every circle of Saudi society giving readers the fullest portrait yet of a land straddling the worlds of medievalism and modernity. Moving from the bloody seizure of Mecca's Grand Mosque in 1979, through the Persian Gulf War, to the delicate U.S.-Saudi relations in a post 9/11 world, Inside the Kingdom brings recent history to vivid life and offers a powerful story of a country learning how not to be at war with itself.

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The Lion's Gate - Steven Pressfield Cover Art

The Lion's Gate

The Lion's Gate On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield

“A brilliant look into the psyche of combat. Where he once took us into the Spartan line of battle at Thermopylae, Steven Pressfield now takes us into the sands of the Sinai, the alleys of Old Jerusalem, and into the hearts and souls of soldiers winning a spectacularly improbable victory against daunting odds.” — General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army, ret.; author of My Share of the Task June 5, 1967. The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has massed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab force’s objective is “the destruction of Israel.” The rest of the world turns a blind eye to the new nation’s desperate peril. June 10, 1967. The Arab armies have been routed, ground divisions wiped out, air forces totally destroyed. Israel’s citizen-soldiers have seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. The land under Israeli control has tripled. Her charismatic defense minister, Moshe Dayan, has entered the Lion’s Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem to stand with the paratroopers who have liberated Judaism’s holiest site—the Western Wall, part of the ruins of Solomon’s temple, which has not been in Jewish hands for nineteen hundred years. It is one of the most unlikely and astonishing military victories in history. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans of the war—fighter and helicopter pilots, tank commanders and Recon soldiers, paratroopers, as well as women soldiers, wives, and others—bestselling author Steven Pressfield tells the story of the Six Day War as you’ve never experienced it before: in the voices of the young men and women who battled not only for their lives but for the survival of a Jewish state, and for the dreams of their ancestors. By turns inspiring, thrilling, and heartbreaking, The Lion’s Gate is both a true tale of military courage under fire and a journey into the heart of what it means to fight for one’s people.

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The Afghan Wars - Rupert Colley Cover Art

The Afghan Wars

The Afghan Wars History in an Hour by Rupert Colley

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. Britain has invaded Afghanistan twice before in the nineteenth century. Both times tenacious Afghan fighters defended their country to humiliating British defeats. The Soviet Union also discovered what a tough enemy the Afghans are after nearly a decade of conflict from 1979 to 1989. When not fighting foreign invaders, Afghanistan was torn apart by Civil War from 1990 to 1996, resulting in victory for the Taliban. The Afghan Wars in an Hour is an excellent way to learn all about the complex wars that have been fought in Afghanistan for almost four decades. It explains who the Taliban and the Mujahedeen are and how their politics work. It explores why Osama Bin Laden was so significant, and helps us understand why, still, it is so hard to achieve peace Afghanistan. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour… Reviews ‘If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past’ Dominic Sandbrook ‘The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age’ Andrew Roberts, Bookseller ‘This is genius’ MacWorld.com About the author Rupert Colley was a librarian in Enfield for 22 years until September 2011. A history graduate, he launched the original History In An Hour in 2009 with a website, blog and ‘World War Two In An Hour’ as an iPhone app. He then expanded it to Kindle, iBooks and into the USA with a series of titles, and enlisted new writers by encouraging guest bloggers on the website. History In An Hour was acquired by Scott Pack for HarperCollins in 2011.

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Afghanistan - Stephen Tanner Cover Art

Afghanistan

Afghanistan A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban by Stephen Tanner

For over 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as a vital crossroads for armies and has witnessed history-shaping clashes between civilizations: Greek, Arab, Mongol, and Tartar, and, in more recent times, British, Russian, and American. When U.S. troops entered Afghanistan in the weeks following September 11, 2001, they overthrew the Afghan Taliban regime and sent the terrorists it harbored on the run. But America's initial easy victory is in sharp contrast to the difficulties it faces today in confronting the Taliban resurgence. Originally published in 2002, Stephen Tanner's Afghanistan has now been completely updated to include the crucial turn of events since America first entered the country.

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The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria - Janine di Giovanni Cover Art

The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria

The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Giovanni

A New York Post Best Book of 2016 Winner of the 2016 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award Winner of the 2016 Hay Festival Medal for Prose "Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle A masterpiece of war reportage, The Morning They Came for Us bears witness to one of the most brutal internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawing from years of experience covering Syria for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and the front page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. The result is an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

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Israel's Original Sin, Volume II - Richard J. Rolwing Cover Art

Israel's Original Sin, Volume II

Israel's Original Sin, Volume II A Catholic Confession by Richard J. Rolwing

Was the god of joshua the god of jesus? A relook at modern Israel's roots in ancient Israel, salva- tion history, biblical inspiration, partial revelation, imperfect theology, and misguided leaders among Jews, Muslims, and Christians. It asks, considering Mohammed, Ben Gurion, and Harry Truman, if Joshua has not had as much influence on western civilization as Jesus. "What on earth is God doing in the Middle East?" Do Uncle Sam and his protoge Israel justify divine providence in human history? Do victories in war and success in business prove God's blessing, and do failures in finance and disasters in health (Aids) manifest God's displeasure? How does Christ's cross (theology) fit into history (politics)? "This book is indeed thoughtful and creative. It highlightsthe need for all of us today to be much more self-critical; especially for us Christians to see how domination theology has been a part of our own approach." Fr. (Dr.) James Bacik, author of Apologetics and the Eclipse of Mystery.

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Lawrence in Arabia - Scott Anderson Cover Art

Lawrence in Arabia

Lawrence in Arabia War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY New York Times • Christian Science Monitor • NPR • Seattle Times • St. Louis Dispatch National Book Critics Circle Finalist -- American Library Association Notable Book A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history – the Arab Revolt and the secret “great game” to control the Middle East        The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.”  Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theater.  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.    Curt Prüfer was an effete academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment Islamic jihad against British rule.  Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Syria. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order gain valuable oil concessions.  At the center of it all was Lawrence.  In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was the most romantic figure of World War One, battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people.   The intertwined paths of these four men – the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed – mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert.  Prüfer became Germany’s grand spymaster in the Middle East.  Aaronsohn constructed an elaborate Jewish spy-ring in Palestine, only to have the anti-Semitic and bureaucratically-inept British first ignore and then misuse his organization, at tragic personal cost.  Yale would become the only American intelligence agent in the entire Middle East – while still secretly on the payroll of Standard Oil.  And the enigmatic Lawrence rode into legend at the head of an Arab army, even as he waged secret war against his own nation’s imperial ambitions.   Based on years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.  Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

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The Brigade - Howard Blum & Hardscrabble Entertainment, Inc. Cover Art

The Brigade

The Brigade An Epic Story of Vengeance, Salvation, and WWII by Howard Blum & Hardscrabble Entertainment, Inc.

November 1944. The British government finally agrees to send a brigade of 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine to Europe to fight the German army. But when the war ends and the soldiers witness firsthand the horrors their people have suffered in the concentration camps, the men launch a brutal and calculating campaign of vengeance, forming secret squads to identify, locate, and kill Nazi officers in hiding. Their own ferocity threatens to overwhelm them until a fortuitous encounter with an orphaned girl sets the men on a course of action—rescuing Jewish war orphans and transporting them to Palestine—that will not only change their lives but also help create a nation and forever alter the course of world history.

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Enemies and Neighbors - Ian Black Cover Art

Enemies and Neighbors

Enemies and Neighbors Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black

From a long-time Guardian correspondent and editor, an expansive, authoritative, and balanced account of over a century of violent confrontation, war, and occupation in Palestine and Israel, published on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War In Enemies and Neighbors , Ian Black, who has spent over three decades covering events in the Middle East and is currently a fellow at the London School of Economics, offers a major new history of the Arab-Zionist conflict from 1917 to today, published on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Laying the historical groundwork in the final decades of the Ottoman Era, when the first Zionist settlers arrived in the Holy Land, Black draws on a wide range of sources—from declassified documents to oral histories to his own vivid on-the-ground reporting—to recreate the major milestones in the most polarizing conflict of the modern age from both sides. In the third year of World War I, the seed was planted for an inevitable clash: Jerusalem Governor Izzat Pasha surrendered to British troops and Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour issued a fateful document sympathizing with the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people.” The chronicle takes us through the Arab rebellion of the 1930s; the long shadow of the Nazi Holocaust; the war of 1948—culminating in Israel’s independence and the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe); the “cursed victory” of the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Palestinian re-awakening; the first and second Intifadas; the Oslo Accords; and other failed peace negotiations and continued violence up to 2017. Combining engaging narrative with historical and political analysis and cultural insights, Enemies and Neighbors is both an accessible overview and a fascinating investigation into the deeper truths of a history that continues to dominate Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy—one which has preserved Palestinians and Israelis as unequal enemies and neighbors, their conflict unresolved as prospects for a two-state solution have all but disappeared.

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Among Righteous Men - Matthew Shaer Cover Art

Among Righteous Men

Among Righteous Men A Tale of Vigilantes and Vindication in Hasidic Crown Heights by Matthew Shaer

Inside the hidden world of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn's Crown Heights--a close-knit but divided community. On a cold night in December, the members of a Hasidic anti-crime patrol called the Shomrim are summoned to a yeshiva dormitory in Crown Heights. There to break up a brawl, the Shomrim instead find themselves embroiled in a religious schism which has split the community and turned roommate against roommate, neighbor against neighbor. At the center of the storm is Aron Hershkop, the owner of an auto-repair business and the leader of the Shomrim. Hershkop watches as the NYPD builds a criminal case against his brothers and friends, apparently with the help of several local residents, who have taken the rare step of forgoing a ruling from the local rabbinical council. Soon, both sides are squaring off in a Brooklyn criminal court, with the Shomrim facing gang assault charges and decades in prison. What conflict could run so deep it left both sides airing their dirty laundry so publicly? This compelling story takes you to the deepest corners of a normally hidden world. Features fast-paced writing and a true story with surprising twists, personal conflicts, and a tense trial Offers a glimpse in a normally sheltered and private community many see, but few know much about. Centers on an unusual man facing a universal conflict: do you do what’s simple and expedient, or do you do follow our heart, your tradition, and your faith?

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Christianity: The Devil's Greatest Trick - Adam Weishaupt Cover Art

Christianity: The Devil's Greatest Trick

Christianity: The Devil's Greatest Trick by Adam Weishaupt

It's a simple fact that most Christians know next to nothing about Christianity. How many people are aware of the many heresies that were stamped out by the early Church? Had any of these heresies triumphed, the world would be a very different, and much saner place. Find out about the monstrous St Augustine and his doctrines of grace, Original Sin, Predestination and the Total Depravity of the human race. This "saint" was happy to send to hell unbaptised babies that died in infancy. His great enemy was the humane and rational Celtic monk Pelagius. The great tragedy of Christianity is that it listened to Augustine rather than Pelagius, and it did so for the oldest of reasons - because Augustine offered the officials of the Church much more personal power. What was the Donatist heresy and what does it tell us about the dangers of modern Islam? How does the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers football clubs in Scotland reflect much of Western world history? Are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics' Anonymous tantamount to cult indoctrination? Were Freud and Augustine both obsessed with their parents? What is "Hieros Gamos"? Should it be a regular feature of the modern world? Were many people in the ancient world known as the "Son of God"? Are the Christian concepts of the Holy Trinity and the incarnation of God in man the most logically incoherent doctrines ever devised? Who was the heretic Nestorious and why was he so significant? Why is reincarnation much more logical than resurrection? Why is it that so few Christians understand the concept of resurrection? Should the story of the Garden of Eden be completely reinterpreted for the contemporary world? What is the difference between consciousness and bicameralism? Are Jews, Christians and Muslims actually bicameral i.e. belonging to an earlier and more stupid stage of human evolution? Were the Jews advocates of temple prostitution, even within the confines of Solomon's holy temple to Yahweh? Can the tales of Abraham, Jephtha and the Garden of Eden prove conclusively that the Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the Devil? Did the sacred Jewish Covenant with Yahweh result in all Jews going to hell according to the Christian doctrine of Original Sin? Is everyone mentioned in the Old Testament even now in hell? Anyone well-versed in the study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam cannot fail to conclude that the God of these religions must be considered to be identical with Satan i.e. Abrahamists are under the power of the Devil, hence why they have committed so many evil acts throughout history. By the time you have finished this book, you will be able to demonstrate that anyone who does not repudiate Abraham's God is evil. Do not read this book if you are a closed-minded Abrahamist. The material in this book is provided by the Pythagorean Illuminati, the oldest secret society in the world, and is not for petty, cheap, narrow-minded religious fanatics.

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Into the Hands of the Soldiers - David D. Kirkpatrick Cover Art

Into the Hands of the Soldiers

Into the Hands of the Soldiers Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East by David D. Kirkpatrick

A candid narrative of how and why the Arab Spring sparked, then failed, and the truth about America's role in that failure and the subsequent military coup that put Sisi in power--from the Middle East correspondent of the New York Times . In 2011, Egyptians of all sects, ages, and social classes shook off millennia of autocracy, then elected a Muslim Brother as president. The 2013 military coup replaced him with a new strongman, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has cracked down on any dissent or opposition with a degree of ferocity Mubarak never dared. New York Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick arrived in Egypt with his family less than six months before the uprising first broke out in 2011, looking for a change from life in Washington, D.C. As revolution and violence engulfed the country, he received an unexpected and immersive education in the Arab world. For centuries, Egypt has set in motion every major trend in politics and culture across the Middle East, from independence and Arab nationalism to Islamic modernism, political Islam, and the jihadist thought that led to Al Qaeda and ISIS. The Arab Spring revolts of 2011 spread from Cairo, and now Americans understandably look with cynical exasperation at the disastrous Egyptian experiment with democracy. They fail to understand the dynamic of the uprising, the hidden story of its failure, and Washington's part in that tragedy. In this candid narrative, Kirkpatrick lives through Cairo's hopeful days and crushing disappointments alongside the diverse population of his new city: the liberal yuppies who first gathered in Tahrir Square; the persecuted Coptic Christians standing guard around Muslims at prayer during the protests; and the women of a grassroots feminism movement that tried to seize its moment. Juxtaposing his on-the-ground experience in Cairo with new reporting on the conflicts within the Obama administration, Kirkpatrick traces how authoritarianism was allowed to reclaim Egypt after thirty months of turmoil. Into the Hands of the Soldiers is a heartbreaking story with a simple message: The failings of decades of autocracy are the reason for the chaos we see today across the Arab world. Because autocracy is the problem, more autocracy is unlikely to provide a durable solution. Egypt, home to one in four Arabs, is always a bellwether. Understanding its recent history is essential to understanding everything taking place across the region today--from the terrorist attacks in the North Sinai and Egypt's new partnership with Israel to the bedlam in Syria and Libya.

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Like Dreamers - Yossi Klein Halevi Cover Art

Like Dreamers

Like Dreamers The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation by Yossi Klein Halevi

Winner of the Everett Family Jewish Book of the Year Award (a National Jewish Book Award) and the RUSA Sophie Brody Medal. In Like Dreamers, acclaimed journalist Yossi Klein Halevi interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present. Following the lives of seven young members from the 55th Paratroopers Reserve Brigade, the unit responsible for restoring Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, Halevi reveals how this band of brothers played pivotal roles in shaping Israel’s destiny long after their historic victory. While they worked together to reunite their country in 1967, these men harbored drastically different visions for Israel’s future. One emerges at the forefront of the religious settlement movement, while another is instrumental in the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. One becomes a driving force in the growth of Israel’s capitalist economy, while another ardently defends the socialist kibbutzim. One is a leading peace activist, while another helps create an anti-Zionist terror underground in Damascus. Featuring an eight pages of black-and-white photos and maps, Like Dreamers is a nuanced, in-depth look at these diverse men and the conflicting beliefs that have helped to define modern Israel and the Middle East.

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A History of Iran - Michael Axworthy Cover Art

A History of Iran

A History of Iran Empire of the Mind by Michael Axworthy

Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran's religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi'a Muslim clerics in the world, yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life: wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the student population of the nation's universities. In A History of Iran , acclaimed historian Michael Axworthy chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire of sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In engaging prose, this revised edition explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world, bringing us up modern times. Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, including a close look at Iran's ongoing attempts to become a nuclear power, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential guide to understanding this volatile nation, which is once again at the center of the world's attention.

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The Yellow Wind - David Grossman & Haim Watzman Cover Art

The Yellow Wind

The Yellow Wind A History by David Grossman & Haim Watzman

The Israeli novelist David Grossman's impassioned account of what he observed on the West Bank in early 1987—not only the misery of the Palestinian refugees and their deep-seated hatred of the Israelis but also the cost of occupation for both occupier and occupied—is an intimate and urgent moral report on one of the great tragedies of our time. The Yellow Wind is essential reading for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of Israel today.

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The Longest War - Peter L. Bergen Cover Art

The Longest War

The Longest War The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda by Peter L. Bergen

TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq—only to move into Afghanistan, where the ten-year-old fight continues: the war on terror rages with no clear end in sight. In The Longest War Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Unlike any other book on this subject, here Bergen tells the story of this shifting war’s failures and successes from the perspectives of both the United States and al-Qaeda and its allies. He goes into the homes of al-Qaeda members, rooting into the source of their devotion to terrorist causes, and spends time in the offices of the major players shaping the U.S. strategic efforts in the region. At a time when many are frustrated or fatigued with what has become an enduring multigenerational conflict, this book will provide an illuminating narrative that not only traces the arc of the fight but projects its likely future. Weaving together internal documents from al-Qaeda and the U.S. offices of counterterrorism, first-person interviews with top-level jihadists and senior Washington officials, along with his own experiences on the ground in the Middle East, Bergen balances the accounts of each side, revealing how al-Qaeda has evolved since 9/11 and the specific ways the U.S. government has responded in the ongoing fight. Bergen also uncovers the strategic errors committed on both sides—the way that al-Qaeda’s bold attack on the United States on 9/11 actually undermined its objective and caused the collapse of the Taliban and the destruction of the organization’s safe haven in Afghanistan, and how al-Qaeda is actually losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world. The book also shows how the United States undermined its moral position in this war with its actions at Guantánamo and coercive interrogations—including the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar, who was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in 2003 and was tortured for four years in Egyptian prisons; his case represents the first and only time that CIA officials have been charged and convicted of the crime of kidnapping. In examining other strategic blunders the United States has committed, Bergen offers a scathing critique of the Clinton and Bush administrations’ inability to accurately assess and counter the al-Qaeda threat, Bush’s deeply misguided reasons for invading Iraq—including the story of how the invasion was launched based, in part, on the views of an obscure academic who put forth theories about Iraq’s involvement with al-Qaeda—and the Obama administration’s efforts in Afghanistan. At a critical moment in world history The Longest War provides the definitive account of the ongoing battle against terror.

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Bible and Sword - Barbara W. Tuchman Cover Art

Bible and Sword

Bible and Sword England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour by Barbara W. Tuchman

From Barbara W. Tuchman, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Guns of August, comes history through a wide-angle lens: a fascinating chronicle of Britain’s long relationship with Palestine and the Middle East, from the ancient world to the twentieth century.   Historically, the British were drawn to the Holy Land for two major reasons: first, to translate the Bible into English and, later, to control the road to India and access to the oil of the Middle East. With the lucidity and vividness that characterize all her work, Barbara W. Tuchman follows these twin spiritual and imperial motives—the Bible and the sword—to their seemingly inevitable endpoint, when Britain conquered Palestine at the conclusion of World War I. At that moment, in a gesture of significance and solemnity, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 established a British-sponsored mandate for a national home for the Jewish people. Throughout this characteristically vivid account, Tuchman demonstrates that the seeds of conflict were planted in the Middle East long before the official founding of the modern state of Israel.   Praise for Bible and Sword   “Tuchman is a wise and witty writer, a shrewd observer with a lively command of high drama.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer   “In her métier as a narrative popular historical writer, Barbara Tuchman is supreme.” — Chicago Sun-Times From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Israel, Palestine and Peace - Amos Oz Cover Art

Israel, Palestine and Peace

Israel, Palestine and Peace Essays by Amos Oz

“Powerful” essays from a founder of the Peace Now movement and advocate for a two-state solution ( Library Journal ). The haunting poetry of [Oz's] prose and the stunning logic of his testimony make a potent mixture." — Washington Post Book World Amos Oz was one of the first voices of conscience to advocate for a two-state solution. As a founding member of the Peace Now movement, Oz has spent over thirty-five years speaking out on this issue, and these powerful essays and speeches span an important and formative period for understanding today's tension and crises. Whether he is discoursing on the role of writers in society or recalling his grandmother's death in the context of the language's veracity; examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a tragicomedy or questioning the Zionist dream, Oz remains trenchant and unflinching in this moving portrait of a divided land. "[Oz is] the modern prophet of Israel." — Sunday Telegraph (UK)

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The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by Means of Deification - Bernard Lamborelle Cover Art

The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by Means of Deification

The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by Means of Deification by Bernard Lamborelle

What if the Covenant had been made with an overlord in order to pacify the Valley of Siddim, an important trade corridor between Egypt and Mesopotamia? What if this overlord’s memory had been celebrated and elevated to the rank of deity by Abraham’s descendants? And what if this “deity”, initially worshipped as a local god, would eventually become known as Yahweh? - This book is original because it alleges that the Abrahamic Covenant had an earthly, rather than divine origin. This eventuality has never seriously been investigated, despite the fact that ancient Canaanites (Israelites) are known for practicing the cult of the ancestors and for worshiping a pagan deity called Baal Berith (“Lord of Covenant”). - This book is significant because it rests on a wealth of textual, archeological, chronological and dendrochronological evidence. The hypothesis it develops is surprisingly coherent and complete. In addition to offering a synthesis of past dialectics, it solves the biblical chronologies and provides fresh answers to many puzzling questions. - This book is timely because it demythifies one of the key tenets of the monotheistic religions. By offering a scientific and historical perspective on the origin of the Abrahamic faith that is psychologically far more plausible than that offered by tradition, it could prove an effective tool to defuse fundamentalism and radicalization.

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Arafat's War - Efraim Karsh Cover Art

Arafat's War

Arafat's War The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest by Efraim Karsh

A noted historian analyzes Yasser Arafat’s role in destabilizing the Middle East in a book praised as “eye-opening and exhaustively researched” ( New York Post ).   Offering the first comprehensive account of the collapse of the most promising peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, historian Efraim Karsh details Arafat’s efforts since the historic Oslo Peace Accords in building an extensive terrorist infrastructure, his failure to disarm the extremist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Authority’s systematic efforts to indoctrinate hate and contempt for the Israeli people through rumor and religious zealotry.   Arafat has irrevocably altered the Middle East’s political landscape, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict will always be Arafat’s war.

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Israel's Original Sin, Volume I - Richard J. Rolwing Cover Art

Israel's Original Sin, Volume I

Israel's Original Sin, Volume I A Catholic Confession by Richard J. Rolwing

Was the god of joshua ever the god of jesus? Marshalling western historical and political evidence, contemporary Biblical scholarship, and Karl Rahner's theology, this work focuses on the Mid-East conflict with a compelling critique of the theory and practice of Jews, Muslims, and, above all, Christians, for following Joshua more than Jesus. Pointing to the parallel between the (story of the) Hebrews freed from slavery under the Egyptians becoming victimizers of Canaanites and the Christians freed from (Roman) persecution becoming victimizers of the Jews, pagans, heretics, Muslims, women ("witches"), and so many colonized, the author blames not the New Testament but the Old Testament Deuteronomic theology of Domination (found in the Pentateuch, Historical Writings, the Prophets, and Psalms) for Christian, Muslim, and Nazi peersecution of the Jews, and for the Israeli conquest, displacement, and/or oppression of the Palestinians. He questions whether Palestine was ever divinely promised because the same Domination theology also claims Yahweh commanded, helped, and then blessed Joshua's conquest/genocide. He questions whether Jesus's God could have been responsible. Neither the original conquest of Palestine, nor the original exile, nor the original return, nor the Roman conquests in 70 & 135 AD., nor the 20th century return and conquest of Palestine by Jews was brought about by any special act of God. God has not been punishing Jews for 1900 years with exile for not believing in Jesus. All three religions have partially misinterpreted God('s self-revelation). This unique critical introduction to the Bible, western history, and the Jewish/Christian/Muslim Dialogues, demands a new theology of the Old Testament, Biblical Inspiration, Church History, and Divine Providence over modern Europe, Israel, and the U.S. It criticizes Rome, liberation theology, both Hans Kung's and Emil Fackenheim's Judaism, moral theologians, Hiroshima, fundamentalism, Eastern religion, American and European arrogance, and the terrorism of both Israelis and Palestinians, neither of which are simply justified because the terrorist is or is not a recognized legitimate nation/state. As a memory of misery, the author offers a novel "Litany of History" so his fellow believing Catholics can acknowledge, along with their saints, martyrs, and scholars, their fanatics, block-heads, and power-worshippers, and the great religious outrages as well as the heavenly signs and gifts. At the height of his business success the author and his companies suffered a total crash. An attorney associate, of national recognition, with several books and monthly columns to his name, embezzled them dry and hid everything in secret foreign bank accounts they could never find, bringing about the largest tax scam in US history. He went to federal prison, the companies went to dry dock, and Mr. Rolwing went to bankruptcy. It was during his bankruptcy that, after meeting a Palestinian who had grown up in Jerusalem until his large extended family was driven out by Israelis in 1949, he began his first serious study of Israel. He had often taught about the horrors of the Nazi holocaust, and never hesitated to rebuke anyone who made any anti-Jewish remarks, once threatening to ask his own father to leave.

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The Coup - Ervand Abrahamian Cover Art

The Coup

The Coup 1953, The CIA, and The Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations by Ervand Abrahamian

In August 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency orchestrated the swift overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader and installed Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in his place. Over the next twenty-six years, the United States backed the unpopular, authoritarian shah and his secret police; in exchange, it reaped a share of Iran’s oil wealth and became a key player in this volatile region. The blowback was almost inevitable, as this new and revealing history of the coup and its consequences shows. When the 1979 Iranian Revolution deposed the shah and replaced his puppet government with a radical Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the shift reverberated throughout the Middle East and the world, casting a long, dark shadow over U.S.-Iran relations that extends to the present day. In this authoritative new history of the coup and its aftermath, noted Iran scholar Ervand Abrahamian uncovers little-known documents that challenge conventional interpretations and also sheds new light on how the American role in the coup influenced U.S.-Iranian relations, both past and present. Drawing from the hitherto closed archives of British Petroleum, the Foreign Office, and the U.S. State Department, as well as from Iranian memoirs and published interviews, Abrahamian’s riveting account of this key historical event will change America’s understanding of a crucial turning point in modern U.S.-Iranian relations.

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The Battle for Saudi Arabia - As'Ad Abukhalil Cover Art

The Battle for Saudi Arabia

The Battle for Saudi Arabia Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power by As'Ad Abukhalil

In The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power , Professor As`ad AbuKhalil confronts the contradictory nature of Saudi Arabia—questions that both the Saudi government, long shrouded in mystery, and the United States government, ever protective of its own interests, seem unwilling to answer. In this unsparing probe into the history and power structure of the kingdom, Professor AbuKhalil, author of Bin Laden, Islam, and America’s New "War on Terrorism", affords the reader unique insight into the intense friction that underlies the increasingly precarious balance between the Saudi royal family and the fundamentalist clerical establishment.

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Walking Israel - Martin Fletcher Cover Art

Walking Israel

Walking Israel A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation by Martin Fletcher

From the much lauded author of Breaking News comes a version of Walking the Bible just for Israel. With its dense history of endless conflict and biblical events, Israel's coastline is by far the most interesting hundred miles in the world. As longtime chief of NBC's Tel Aviv news bureau, Martin Fletcher is in a unique position to interpret Israel, and he brings it off in a spectacular and novel manner. Last year he strolled along the entire coast, from Lebanon to Gaza, observing facets of the country that are ignored in news reports, yet tell a different and truer story. Walking Israel is packed with hilarious moments, historical insights, emotional, true-life tales, and, above all, great storytelling.

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A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948 - James Barr Cover Art

A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948

A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948 The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914–1948 by James Barr

“A provocative history . . . helps us to understand why the Arab spring is so important and valuable.”—David Ignatius, National Interest In the twentieth century, while fighting a common enemy in Europe, Britain and France were locked in a clandestine struggle for power in the Middle East. From the first agreement to divide the region between them to the birth of Israel, A Line in the Sand is a gripping narrative of the last gasp of imperialism, with tales of unscrupulous double-dealing, cynical manipulation, and all-too-frequent violence that continues to the present day.

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No Room for Small Dreams - Shimon Peres Cover Art

No Room for Small Dreams

No Room for Small Dreams Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres

In 1934, eleven-year-old Shimon Peres emigrated to the land of Israel from his native Poland, leaving behind an extended family who would later be murdered in the Holocaust. Few back then would have predicted that this young man would eventually become one of the towering figures of the twentieth century. Peres would indeed go on to serve the new state as prime minister, president, foreign minister, and the head of several other ministries. He was central to the establishment of the Israeli Defense Forces and the defense industry that would provide the young state with a robust deterrent power. He was crucial to launching Israel’s nuclear energy program and to the creation of its high-tech “Start-up Nation” revolution. His refusal to surrender to conventional wisdom and political norms helped save the Israeli economy and prompted some of the most daring military operations in history, among them the legendary Operation Entebbe. And yet, as important as his role in creating and deploying Israel’s armed forces was, his stunning transition from hawk to dove—with its accompanying unwavering commitment to peace—made him one of the globe’s most recognized, honored, and admired statesmen. In this, his final work, finished only weeks before his passing, Peres offers a long-awaited examination of the crucial turning points in Israeli history through the prism of having been a decision maker and eyewitness. Told with the frankness of someone aware this would likely be his final statement, No Room for Small Dreams spans decades and events, but as much as it is about what happened, it is about why it happened. Examining pivotal moments in Israel’s rise, Peres explores what makes for a great leader, how to make hard choices in a climate of uncertainty and distress, the challenges of balancing principles with policies, and the liberating nature of imagination and unpredicted innovation. In doing so, he not only charts a better path forward for his beloved country but provides deep and universal wisdom for younger generations who seek to lead—be it in politics, business, or the broader service of making our planet a safer, more peaceful, and just place.

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Humanism in Ruins - Aslı Iğsız Cover Art

Humanism in Ruins

Humanism in Ruins Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange by Aslı Iğsız

The 1923 Greek-Turkish population exchange forcibly relocated one and a half million people: Muslims in Greece were resettled in Turkey, and Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey were moved to Greece. This landmark event set a legal precedent for population management on the basis of religious or ethnic difference. Similar segregative policies—such as creating walls, partitions, and apartheids—have followed in its wake. Strikingly, the exchange was purportedly enacted as a means to achieve peace. Humanism in Ruins maps the links between liberal discourses on peace and the legacies of this forced migration. Aslı Iğsız weaves together past and present, making visible the effects in Turkey across the ensuing century, of the 1923 exchange. Liberal humanism has responded to segregative policies by calling for coexistence and the acceptance of cultural diversity. Yet, as Iğsız makes clear, liberal humanism itself, with its ahistorical emphasis on a shared humanity, fails to confront an underlying racialized logic. This far-reaching and multilayered cultural history investigates what it means to be human—historically, socially, and politically. It delivers an urgent message about the politics of difference at a time when the reincarnation of fascism in different parts of the world invites citizens to participate in perpetuating a racialized and unequal world.

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Hezbollah - Augustus Richard Norton Cover Art

Hezbollah

Hezbollah A Short History Updated and Expanded Third Edition by Augustus Richard Norton

With Hezbollah's entry into the Lebanese government in 2009 and forceful intervention in the Syrian civil war, the potent Shi‘i political and military organization continues to play an enormous role in the Middle East. A hybrid of militia, political party, and social services and public works provider, the group is the most powerful player in Lebanon. Policymakers in the United States and Israel usually denounce Hezbollah as a dangerous terrorist organization and refuse to engage with it, yet even its adversaries need to contend with its durability and resilient popular support. Augustus Richard Norton’s incisive account stands as the most lucid, informed, and balanced analysis of Hezbollah yet written--and this fully revised and updated edition features a new prologue and conclusion, as well as two new chapters largely devoted to the group’s recent activities, including its involvement in Syria. Hezbollah is a work of perennial importance and remains essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East.

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Paul of Tarsus: A First Century Radical - Anne Davison Cover Art

Paul of Tarsus: A First Century Radical

Paul of Tarsus: A First Century Radical In Brief by Anne Davison

It is often said that without Paul the Apostle there would have been no Christian Church. Certainly it was Paul who took the message of Christ beyond the region of Palestine to the Gentiles of Asia Minor and it was Paul who established the first Churches across Anatolia and beyond, into the Greek Peninsula. It is therefore arguable that if it had not been for Paul, the Church would not have become the worldwide Faith that it is today. It is also arguable that without the structure of the Roman Empire of the First Century, the early Church would not have spread as it did. This book places Paul in his historical context; the Graeco-Roman world of the Pax Romana. Part One of the book explains how the Eastern Mediterranean came to be Greek in culture but Roman in government. Part Two looks at the life of a Jew or early Christian at that time, living under Roman rule. Part Three follows the life of Paul; a Roman Citizen, an urban, well-educated Jew of the Diaspora; born in Tarsus, which was then a prosperous and cosmopolitan port city. This is not another Biblical study on the life of St Paul, or a work of Christian apologetics. Rather it looks at the radical Jew of the First Century who challenged the status quo. He was a man who faced both the hostility of the Jews and the might of the Roman Empire. Including some useful maps, it is short and accessible and should appeal to the general reader who wants to learn about the man Paul of Tarsus: a First Century Radical, from a historical perspective rather than the more usual avenue, through Scripture

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Crusade and Jihad - William R. Polk Cover Art

Crusade and Jihad

Crusade and Jihad by William R. Polk

Crusade and Jihad is the first book to encompass, in one volume, the entire history of the catastrophic encounter between the Global North—China, Russia, Europe, Britain, and America—and Muslim societies from Central Asia to West Africa. William R. Polk draws on more than half a century of experience as a historian, policy planner, diplomat, peace negotiator, and businessman to explain the deep hostilities between the Muslim world and the Global North and show how they grew over the centuries.   Polk shows how Islam arose and spread across North Africa into Europe, climaxed in the vibrant and sophisticated caliphate of al-Andalus in medieval Spain, and was the bright light in a European Dark Age. Simultaneously, Islam spread from the Middle East into Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. But following the Mongol invasions, Islamic civilization entered a decline while Europe began its overseas expansion. Portuguese buccaneers dominated the Indian Ocean; the Dutch and the English established powerful corporations that turned India and Indonesia into colonies; Russian armies pushed down the Volga into Central Asia, destroying its city-states; and the Chinese Qing dynasty slaughtered an entire Central Asian people. Britain crushed local industry and drained off wealth throughout its vast colonies. Defeated at every turn, Muslims tried adopting Western dress, organizing Westernstyle armies, and embracing Western ideas.   None of these efforts stopped the conquests. For Europe and Russia, the nineteenth century was an age of colonial expansion, but for the Muslim world it was an age of brutal and humiliating defeat. Millions were driven from their homes, starved, or killed, and their culture and religion came under a century-long assault.   In the twentieth century, brutalized and and disorganized native societies, even after winning independence, fell victim to “post-imperial malaise,” typified by native tyrannies, corruption, and massive poverty. The result was a furious blowback.   A sobering, scrupulous, and frank account of imperialism, colonialism, insurgency, and terrorism, Crusade and Jihad is history for anyone who wishes to understand the civilizational conflicts of today’s world.

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Preventing Palestine - Seth Anziska Cover Art

Preventing Palestine

Preventing Palestine A Political History from Camp David to Oslo by Seth Anziska

On the fortieth anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a groundbreaking new history that shows how Egyptian-Israeli peace ensured lasting Palestinian statelessness For seventy years Israel has existed as a state, and for forty years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt that is widely viewed as a triumph of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978—remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter. Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges. With the introduction of the idea of restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further. The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause. Combining astute political analysis, extensive original research, and interviews with diplomats, military veterans, and communal leaders, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of a highly charged struggle for self-determination.

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