Top Middle East History Ebook Best Sellers

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Israel - Noa Tishby Cover Art

Israel

Israel A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby

A “fascinating and very moving” (Aaron Sorkin, award-winning screenwriter of The West Wing and The Social Network ) chronological timeline spanning from Biblical times to today that explores one of the most interesting countries in the world—Israel. Israel. The small strip of arid land is 5,700 miles away but remains a hot-button issue and a thorny topic of debate. But while everyone seems to have a strong opinion about Israel, how many people actually know the facts? Here to fill in the information gap is Israeli American Noa Tishby. But “this is not your Bubbie’s history book” (Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher ). Instead, offering a fresh, 360-degree view, Tishby brings her “passion, humor, and deep intimacy” (Yossi Klein Halevi, New York Times bestselling author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor ) to the subject, creating an accessible and dynamic portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance. Through bite-sized chunks of history and deeply personal stories, Tishby chronicles her homeland’s evolution, beginning in Biblical times and moving forward to cover everything from WWI to Israel’s creation to the disputes dividing the country today. Tackling popular misconceptions with an abundance of facts, Tishby provides critical context around headline-generating controversies and offers a clear, intimate account of the richly cultured country of Israel.

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We Were One - Patrick K. O'Donnell Cover Art

We Were One

We Were One Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah by Patrick K. O'Donnell

A riveting first-hand account of the fierce battle for Fallujah during the Iraq War and the Marines who fought there--a story of brotherhood and sacrifice in a platoon of heroes Five months after being deployed to Iraq, Lima Company's 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, found itself in Fallujah, embroiled in some of the most intense house-to-house, hand-to-hand urban combat since World War II. In the city's bloody streets, they came face-to-face with the enemy-radical insurgents high on adrenaline, fighting to a martyr's death, and suicide bombers approaching from every corner. Award-winning author and historian Patrick O'Donnell stood shoulder to shoulder with this modern band of brothers as they marched and fought through the streets of Fallujah, and he stayed with them as the casualties mounted.

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The Confidence Men - Margalit Fox Cover Art

The Confidence Men

The Confidence Men How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The Great Escape for the Great War: the astonishing true story of two World War I prisoners who pulled off one of the most ingenious escapes of all time. FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR ® AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR • “Fox unspools Jones and Hill’s delightfully elaborate scheme in nail-biting episodes that advance like a narrative Rube Goldberg machine.”— The New York Times Book Review Imprisoned in a remote Turkish POW camp during World War I, having survived a two-month forced march and a terrifying shootout in the desert, two British officers, Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, join forces to bamboozle their iron-fisted captors. To stave off despair and boredom, Jones takes a handmade Ouija board and fakes elaborate séances for his fellow prisoners. Word gets around, and one day an Ottoman official approaches Jones with a query: Could Jones contact the spirit world to find a vast treasure rumored to be buried nearby? Jones, a trained lawyer, and Hill, a brilliant magician, use the Ouija board—and their keen understanding of the psychology of deception—to build a trap for their captors that will ultimately lead them to freedom.  A gripping nonfiction thriller, The Confidence Men is the story of one of the only known con games played for a good cause—and of a profound but unlikely friendship. Had it not been for “the Great War,” Jones, the Oxford-educated son of a British lord, and Hill, a mechanic on an Australian sheep ranch, would never have met. But in pain, loneliness, hunger, and isolation, they formed a powerful emotional and intellectual alliance that saved both of their lives.  Margalit Fox brings her “nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality” (Kathryn Schulz, New York ) to this tale of psychological strategy that is rife with cunning, danger, and moments of high farce that rival anything in Catch-22 .

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After the Prophet - Lesley Hazleton Cover Art

After the Prophet

After the Prophet The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton

In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever.   Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity.     Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia–Sunni split.

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The Daughters of Kobani - Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Cover Art

The Daughters of Kobani

The Daughters of Kobani A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The extraordinary story of the women who took on the Islamic State and won “ The Daughters of Kobani is an unforgettable and nearly mythic tale of women's power and courage. The young women profiled in this book fought a fearsome war against brutal men in impossible circumstances — and proved in the process what girls and women can accomplish when given the chance to lead. Brilliantly researched and respectfully reported, this book is a lesson in heroism, sacrifice, and the real meaning of sisterhood. I am so grateful that this story has been told. ” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love “ Absolutely fascinating and brilliantly written, The Daughters of Kobani is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand both the nobility and the brutality of war. This is one of the most compelling stories in modern warfare. ” — Admiral William H. McRaven, author of Make Your Bed In 2014, northeastern Syria might have been the last place you would expect to find a revolution centered on women's rights. But that year, an all-female militia faced off against ISIS in a little town few had ever heard of: Kobani. By then, the Islamic State had swept across vast swaths of the country, taking town after town and spreading terror as the civil war burned all around it. From that unlikely showdown in Kobani emerged a fighting force that would wage war against ISIS across northern Syria alongside the United States. In the process, these women would spread their own political vision, determined to make women's equality a reality by fighting—house by house, street by street, city by city—the men who bought and sold women. Based on years of on-the-ground reporting, The Daughters of Kobani is the unforgettable story of the women of the Kurdish militia that improbably became part of the world's best hope for stopping ISIS in Syria. Drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews, bestselling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon introduces us to the women fighting on the front lines, determined to not only extinguish the terror of ISIS but also prove that women could lead in war and must enjoy equal rights come the peace. In helping to cement the territorial defeat of ISIS, whose savagery toward women astounded the world, these women played a central role in neutralizing the threat the group posed worldwide. In the process they earned the respect—and significant military support—of U.S. Special Operations Forces. Rigorously reported and powerfully told, The Daughters of Kobani shines a light on a group of women intent on not only defeating the Islamic State on the battlefield but also changing women's lives in their corner of the Middle East and beyond.

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Ghost Riders of Baghdad - Daniel A. Sjursen Cover Art

Ghost Riders of Baghdad

Ghost Riders of Baghdad Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge by Daniel A. Sjursen

From October 2006 to December 2007, Daniel A. Sjursen—then a U.S. Army lieutenant—led a light scout platoon across Baghdad. The experiences of Ghost Rider platoon provide a soldier’s-eye view of the incredible complexities of warfare, peacekeeping, and counterinsurgency in one of the world’s most ancient cities. Sjursen reflects broadly and critically on the prevailing narrative of the surge as savior of America’s longest war, on the overall military strategy in Iraq, and on U.S. relations with ordinary Iraqis. At a time when just a handful of U.S. senators and representatives have a family member in combat, Sjursen also writes movingly on questions of America’s patterns of national service. Who now serves and why? What connection does America’s professional army have to the broader society and culture? What is the price we pay for abandoning the model of the citizen soldier? With the bloody emergence of ISIS in 2014, Iraq and its beleaguered, battle-scarred people are again much in the news. Unlike other books on the U.S. war in Iraq, Ghost Riders of Baghdad is part battlefield chronicle, part critique of American military strategy and policy, and part appreciation of Iraq and its people. At once a military memoir, history, and cultural commentary, Ghost Riders of Bahdad delivers a compelling story and a deep appreciation of both those who serve and the civilians they strive to protect. Sjursen provides a riveting addition to our understanding of modern warfare and its human costs.

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The Iraq War - Anthony Tucker-Jones Cover Art

The Iraq War

The Iraq War Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003–2011 by Anthony Tucker-Jones

The Iraq War is a visual record of the American-led Operation Iraqi Freedom of 2003, which resulted in the dramatic overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein. In a striking sequence of photographs Anthony Tucker-Jones shows how this was achieved by the American and British armed forces in a lightning campaign of just two weeks. But the photographs also show the disastrous aftermath when the swift victory was undermined by the outbreak of the Iraqi insurgency - in the Shia south, in Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle, and in Fallujah where two ferocious battles were fought. The author, who is an expert on the Iraqi armed forces and has written extensively on the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War, gives a fascinating insight into the Iraqi army and air force and into the multitude of weapons systems Saddam purchased from around the world. He also looks at the failures on the American and British side - the flaws in the tactics that were used, the poor performance of some of the armoured fighting vehicles and at the reformed Iraqi armed forces who have now taken responsibility for security in the country. The Iraq War is a vivid photographic introduction to a conflict that has only just passed into history.

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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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Where Cowards Go to Die - Benjamin Sledge Cover Art

Where Cowards Go to Die

Where Cowards Go to Die by Benjamin Sledge

A former soldier awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart tells the story of overcoming the mental and physical wounds of war on a fifteen year odyssey that led him back to the very place where his nightmares began—and the only place redemption was possible. While serving a portion of his time under the Special Operations Command, Benjamin Sledge fought to keep his humanity amid the killing fields of Iraq and Afghanistan. But war never leaves its participants uscathed. In Where Cowards Go to Die , Sledge reveals an unflinchingly honest portrait of war that few dare to tell. Stationed on a small base on the border of Pakistan in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the young warrior returned home shattered after embracing the barbarity he witnessed around him. Haunted by his experiences overseas, he began a 15 year odyssey wrestling with mental health, purpose, and faith, that eventually drove him to volunteer for another combat tour in the deadliest city of the Iraq War—Ramadi. In his memoir, Sledge vividly captures the reality of the men and women who learn to fight without remorse, love each other without restraint, and suffer the high cost of returning to a country that no longer feels like home. “In life or war, you’ll die a coward by refusing to live and act selflessly. Or you can kill your inner cowardice for something greater to emerge. But either way, a coward dies.” -Benjamin Sledge

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The Oil Kings - Andrew Scott Cooper Cover Art

The Oil Kings

The Oil Kings How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East by Andrew Scott Cooper

struggling with a recession . . . European nations at risk of defaulting on their loans . . . A possible global financial crisis. It happened before, in the 1970s . Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. As Richard Nixon fought off Watergate inquiries in 1973, the U.S. economy reacted to an oil shortage initiated by Arab nations in retaliation for American support of Israel in the Arab- Israeli war. The price of oil skyrocketed, causing serious inflation. One man the U.S. could rely on in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally whose grand ambitions had made him a leading customer for American weapons. Iran sold the U.S. oil; the U.S. sold Iran missiles and fighter jets. But the Shah’s economy depended almost entirely on oil, and the U.S. economy could not tolerate annual double-digit increases in the price of this essential commodity. European economies were hit even harder by the soaring oil prices, and several NATO allies were at risk of default on their debt. In 1976, with the U.S. economy in peril, President Gerald Ford, locked in a tight election race, decided he had to find a country that would sell oil to the U.S. more cheaply and break the OPEC monopoly, which the Shah refused to do. On the advice of Treasury Secretary William Simon and against the advice of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ford made a deal to sell advanced weaponry to the Saudis in exchange for a modest price hike on oil. Ford lost the election, but the deal had lasting consequences. The Shah’s economy was destabilized, and disaffected elements in Iran mobilized to overthrow him. The U.S. had embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day. Andrew Scott Cooper draws on newly declassified documents and interviews with some key figures of the time to show how Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, the CIA, and the State and Treasury departments—as well as the Shah and the Saudi royal family— maneuvered to control events in the Middle East. He details the secret U.S.-Saudi plan to circumvent OPEC that destabilized the Shah. He reveals how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo. The Oil Kings provides solid evidence that U.S. officials ignored warning signs of a potential hostage crisis in Iran. It discloses that U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah. And it shows how the Ford Administration barely averted a European debt crisis that could have triggered a financial catastrophe in the U.S. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.

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Sword and Scimitar - Raymond Ibrahim & Victor Davis Hanson Cover Art

Sword and Scimitar

Sword and Scimitar Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West by Raymond Ibrahim & Victor Davis Hanson

A sweeping history of the often-violent conflict between Islam and the West, shedding a revealing light on current hostilities The West and Islam -- the sword and scimitar -- have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Roman emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad's order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom. Sword and Scimitar chronicles the decisive battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on Christian land in 636, through the Muslim occupation of nearly three-quarters of Christendom which prompted the Crusades, followed by renewed Muslim conquests by Turks and Tatars, to the European colonization of the Muslim world in the 1800s, when Islam largely went on the retreat -- until its reemergence in recent times. Using original sources in Arabic and Greek, preeminent historian Raymond Ibrahim describes each battle in vivid detail and explains how these wars and the larger historical currents of the age reflect the cultural fault lines between Islam and the West. The majority of these landmark battles -- including the battles of Yarmuk, Tours, Manzikert, the sieges at Constantinople and Vienna, and the crusades in Syria and Spain--are now forgotten or considered inconsequential. Yet today, as the West faces a resurgence of this enduring Islamic jihad, Sword and Scimitar provides the needed historical context to understand the current relationship between the West and the Islamic world -- and why the Islamic State is merely the latest chapter of an old history.

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The Gold of Exodus - Howard Blum Cover Art

The Gold of Exodus

The Gold of Exodus The Discovery of the True Mount Sinai by Howard Blum

Mount Sinai. For many, it is the most sacred place on Earth—the site where God descended to give Moses the Ten Commandments. Yet for centuries, mankind has not known its exact location. In this heart-pounding true story, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Howard Blum tells the enthralling account of two modern-day adventurers—Larry Williams, a two-time Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Montana and a self-made millionaire, and his friend Bob Cornuke, a retired policemen and former SWAT team member. Lured by the prospect of finding the fabled fortune in gold that the ancient Hebrews took with them when they fled from Egypt, the two men set out to find the true site of Mount Sinai—with only the Old Testament as a guide. Eminent biblical scholars at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have argued that Mount Sinai is not in the Sinai Peninsula at all, but rather in northwestern Saudi Arabia. However, they were never allowed into the kingdom to prove their argument. When Cornuke and Williams are also denied entry, they daringly sneak into Saudi Arabia. And what they discover at the mountain known as Jabal al Lawz will astonish the world—and inspire readers to rethink the role of the Bible in history. They find the remains of the stone altar at which the Golden Calf was worshiped, the twelve pillars that Moses ordered to be erected, the cave where Moses slept, and, most sensationally, the unnaturally scorched spot on the mountaintop where God gave Moses the two stone tablets. They also explain, in a fascinating account, the truth about the parting of the Red Sea waters. And not the least of their discoveries is the fact that one of the most sacred spots on earth is now a top secret Saudi military base. As these two adventurers follow in Moses' footsteps, they become pawns in a dangerous game of international power politics and intrigue, This action-packed tale—part high-tech treasure hunt, part modern-day spy thriller, and part biblical detective story—is riveting. And it is all true.

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Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict - Michael Rydelnik & Michael Easley Cover Art

Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict What the Headlines Haven't Told You by Michael Rydelnik & Michael Easley

Michael Rydelnik, professor of Jewish studies at Moody Bible Institute, goes beyond the media images for an in depth, biblically grounded look at the "crisis that never ends"--the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs. Dr. Rydelnik explores such questions as: • Will the violence ever stop? • Who really has a right to the land? • How did it all start...and where will it all end? This revised and updated edition includes a new chapter that looks at the events that brought the end to the Terror War in 2004, discusses the change of leadership in the Israeli government, and examines the conflict within the Palestinian government following the surprise election victory of the terrorist group Hamas.

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The Nabataeans, Builders of Petra - Dan Gibson Cover Art

The Nabataeans, Builders of Petra

The Nabataeans, Builders of Petra by Dan Gibson

A fascinating look at the ancient Nabataean Kingdom! During the time of the Greek and Roman Empires, this small Arabian empire built spectacular cities in the Arabian Desert. Their ships and camel caravans traveled to far off exotic places to bring luxury goods to European markets. Since they held a monopoly on almost all eastern goods, they slowly raised their prices, until they almost brought the great European Empires to their knees. Flush with cash, they built the incredible city of Petra, hidden away in a mountain ravine. Discover all this and more in this exciting book!

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A Year in Treblinka - Jankiel Wiernik Cover Art

A Year in Treblinka

A Year in Treblinka by Jankiel Wiernik

An Inmate Who Escaped Tells The Day-To-Day Facts Of One Year Of His Torturous Experiences. Jankiel Wiernik was a Jewish property manager in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded Poland and was forced into the ghetto in 1940. Despite surviving the horrors of the ghetto at the advanced age of 52, he was sent to a fate worse than death at the notorious death camp at Treblinka, which he immortalized in his memoirs. “On his arrival at Treblinka aboard the Holocaust train from Warsaw, Wiernik was selected to work rather than be immediately killed. Wiernik’s first job with the Sonderkommando required him to drag corpses from the gas chambers to mass graves. Wienik was traumatized by his experiences. He later wrote in his book: “It often happened that an arm or a leg fell off when we tied straps around them in order to drag the bodies away.” He remembered the horrors of the enormous pyres, where “10,000 to 12,000 corpses were cremated at one time.” He wrote: “The bodies of women were used for kindling” while Germans “toasted the scene with brandy and with the choicest liqueurs, ate, caroused and had a great time warming themselves by the fire.” Wiernik described small children awaiting so long in the cold for their turn in the gas chambers that “their feet froze and stuck to the icy ground” and noted one guard who would “frequently snatch a child from the woman’s arms and either tear the child in half or grab it by the legs, smash its head against a wall and throw the body away.” At other times “children were snatched from their mothers’ arms and tossed into the flames alive.” “Wiernik escaped Treblinka during the revolt of the prisoners on “a sizzling hot day” of August 2, 1943. A shot fired into the air signalled that the revolt was on. Wiernik wrote that he “grabbed some guns” and, after spotting an opportunity to make a break for the woods, an axe...”

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A History of the Middle East - Peter Mansfield & Nicolas Pelham Cover Art

A History of the Middle East

A History of the Middle East Fifth Edition by Peter Mansfield & Nicolas Pelham

The definitive history of the Middle East that provides the historical context to today's headlines "The best overall survey of the politics, regional rivalries and economics of the contemporary Arab World." - The Washington Post One of the most crucial, volatile, and complex regions of the modern world, the Middle East has long confounded the dreams of conquerors and peacemakers alike. This now-classic book, and still the essential work on the subject, follows the historic struggles of the Middle East from Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt and Syria, through the slow decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the history of Islam and its recent resurgence. For this fourth edition, Economist correspondent Nicolas Pelham contributes an extensive new section examining recent developments throughout the Middle East, including the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in Iran, the region’s relations with the United States under President Obama, the Arab Spring, and more.

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Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story Of Auschwitz [Illustrated Edition] - Olga Lengyel Cover Art

Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story Of Auschwitz [Illustrated Edition]

Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story Of Auschwitz [Illustrated Edition] by Olga Lengyel

Olga Lengyel tells, frankly and without compromise, one of the most horrifying stories of all time. This true, documented chronicle is the intimate, day-to-day record of a beautiful woman who survived the nightmare of Auschwitz and Birkenau. This book is a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of human civilization. It was a shocking experience. It is a shocking book. “... Thank you for your very frank, very well written book. You have done a real service by letting the ones who are now silent and most forgotten speak ...With best regards and wishes, — A. Einstein.” “This book is a horrifying, but necessary, reminder of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of human civilisation. Passionate, tormenting’”—New York Herald-Tribune “It is a picture of utter hell”—Saturday Review of Literature

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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.” WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD IN HISTORY NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JENNIFER SZALAI,  THE NEW YORK TIMES  NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY  The Economist  •  The New York Times Book Review  • BBC History Magazine  • Mother Jones  •  Kirkus Reviews 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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Can We Talk About Israel? - Daniel Sokatch Cover Art

Can We Talk About Israel?

Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted by Daniel Sokatch

From the expert who understands both sides of one of the world's most complex, controversial topics, a modern-day Guide for the Perplexed-a primer on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Can't you just explain the Israel situation to me? In, like, 10 minutes or less?" This is the question Daniel Sokatch is used to answering on an almost daily basis as the head of the New Israel Fund, an organization dedicated to equality and democracy for all Israelis, not just Jews, Sokatch is supremely well-versed on the Israeli conflict. Can We Talk About Israel? is the story of that conflict, and of why so many people feel so strongly about it without actually understanding it very well at all. It is an attempt to grapple with a century-long struggle between two peoples that both perceive themselves as (and indeed are) victims. And it's an attempt to explain why Israel (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) inspires such extreme feelings-why it seems like Israel is the answer to "what is wrong with the world" for half the people in it, and "what is right with the world" for the other half. As Sokatch asks, is there any other topic about which so many intelligent, educated and sophisticated people express such strongly and passionately held convictions, and about which they actually know so little? Complete with engaging illustrations by Christopher Noxon, Can We Talk About Israel? is an easy-to-read yet penetrating and original look at the history and basic contours of one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.

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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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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

A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST "Extraordinary … A sweeping history of the Palestinian-Israeli conundrum … Highly readable and evocative." – The Washington Post The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people, one Israeli and one Palestinian, that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East – with an updated afterword by the author. In 1967, Bashir Khairi, a twenty-five-year-old Palestinian, journeyed to Israel with the goal of seeing the beloved 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 Eshkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family left 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 half century in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, demonstrating that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and transformation.

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Children of Paradise - Laura Secor Cover Art

Children of Paradise

Children of Paradise The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor

The drama that shaped today’s Iran, from the Revolution to the present day.   In 1979, seemingly overnight—moving at a clip some thirty years faster than the rest of the world—Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since then, the country has been largely a black box to the West, a sinister presence looming over the horizon. But inside Iran, a breathtaking drama has unfolded since then, as religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists have imagined and reimagined what Iran should be. They have drawn as deeply on the traditions of the West as of the East and have acted upon their beliefs with urgency and passion, frequently staking their lives for them.   With more than a decade of experience reporting on, researching, and writing about Iran, Laura Secor narrates this unprecedented history as a story of individuals caught up in the slipstream of their time, seizing and wielding ideas powerful enough to shift its course as they wrestle with their country’s apparatus of violent repression as well as its rich and often tragic history. Essential reading at this moment when the fates of our countries have never been more entwined, Children of Paradise will stand as a classic of political reporting; an indelible portrait of a nation and its people striving for change.

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Iran - Abbas Amanat Cover Art

Iran

Iran A Modern History by Abbas Amanat

A masterfully researched and compelling history of Iran from 1501 to 2009 This history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.   Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting implications for modern Iran and the world. Drawing on diverse historical scholarship and emphasizing the twentieth century, he addresses debates about Iran’s culture and politics. Political history is the driving narrative force, given impetus by Amanat's decades of research and study. He layers the book with discussions of literature, music, and the arts; ideology and religion; economy and society; and cultural identity and heritage.

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Empress of the East - Leslie Peirce Cover Art

Empress of the East

Empress of the East How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce

The "fascinating . . . lively" story of the Russian slave girl Roxelana, who rose from concubine to become the only queen of the Ottoman empire ( New York Times ). In Empress of the East , historian Leslie Peirce tells the remarkable story of a Christian slave girl, Roxelana, who was abducted by slave traders from her Ruthenian homeland and brought to the harem of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in Istanbul. Suleyman became besotted with her and foreswore all other concubines. Then, in an unprecedented step, he freed her and married her. The bold and canny Roxelana soon became a shrewd diplomat and philanthropist, who helped Suleyman keep pace with a changing world in which women, from Isabella of Hungary to Catherine de Medici, increasingly held the reins of power. Until now Roxelana has been seen as a seductress who brought ruin to the empire, but in Empress of the East , Peirce reveals the true history of an elusive figure who transformed the Ottoman harem into an institution of imperial rule.

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The Ottomans - Marc David Baer Cover Art

The Ottomans

The Ottomans Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs by Marc David Baer

This major new history of the Ottoman dynasty reveals a diverse empire that straddled East and West.   The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic, Asian antithesis of the Christian, European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans’ multiethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. Indeed, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans. Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, historian Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic, and Byzantine heritage. The Ottomans pioneered religious toleration even as they used religious conversion to integrate conquered peoples. But in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the empire’s demise after the First World War.     The Ottomans  vividly reveals the dynasty’s full history and its enduring impact on Europe and the world. 

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Essential Israel - S. Ilan Troen, Rachel Fish, Arnon Golan, Maoz Azaryahu, Michael Brenner, Alan Dowty, David Makovsky, Gil Troy, Yedidia Stern, Donna Robinson Divine, Steven Bayme, David Ellenson, Yaakov Ariel, Norman Stillman, Rachel S. Harris & Ranen Omer-Sherman Cover Art

Essential Israel

Essential Israel Essays for the 21st Century by S. Ilan Troen, Rachel Fish, Arnon Golan, Maoz Azaryahu, Michael Brenner, Alan Dowty, David Makovsky, Gil Troy, Yedidia Stern, Donna Robinson Divine, Steven Bayme, David Ellenson, Yaakov Ariel, Norman Stillman, Rachel S. Harris & Ranen Omer-Sherman

“An excellent tool in Middle Eastern politics classes [and] an intellectual resource for experts who want to learn more about the complexities of Israel.”— Reading Religion Americans debate constantly about Israel, its place in the Middle East, and its relations with the United States. Essential Israel examines a wide variety of complex issues and current concerns in historical and contemporary contexts to provide readers with an intimate sense of the dynamic society and culture that is Israel today, providing a broader and deeper understanding to inform the conversation.   The expert contributors to this volume address the Arab-Israeli conflict, the state of diplomatic efforts to bring about peace, Zionism and the impact of the Holocaust, the status of the Jewish state and Israeli democracy, foreign relations, immigration and Israeli identity, as well as literature, film, and the other arts. This unique and innovative volume provides solid grounding to understandings of Israel’s history, politics, culture, and possibilities for the future.

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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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Flavius Josephus - Flavius Josephus Cover Art

Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus The Complete Works by Flavius Josephus

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), born Joseph ben Matityahu, was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem. He fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of the Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 to Roman forces led by Vespasian. Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War. His most important works are “The Jewish War” and “Antiquities of the Jews “. This collection includes all of Josephus surviving works. Included are the following works: • The Antiquities of The Jews • The Wars of The Jews • Against Apion • The Life of Flavius Josephus • An Extract Out of Josephus's Discourse To The Greeks Concerning Hades Note that Josephus’ authorship of the “Discourse To The Greeks Concerning Hades” is being questions by some scholars who instead attribute the work to Hippolytus of Rome

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Vision or Mirage - David Rundell Cover Art

Vision or Mirage

Vision or Mirage Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads by David Rundell

'Clear-eyed and illuminating.' Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor 'A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.' General David Petraeus, former Commander U.S. Central Command and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 'Destined to be the best single volume on the Kingdom.' Ambassador Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of Defense 'Should be prescribed reading for a new generation of political leaders.' Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of H.M. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Something extraordinary is happening in Saudi Arabia. A traditional, tribal society once known for its lack of tolerance is rapidly implementing significant economic and social reforms. An army of foreign consultants is rewriting the social contract, King Salman has cracked down hard on corruption, and his dynamic though inexperienced son, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is promoting a more tolerant Islam. But is all this a new vision for Saudi Arabia or merely a mirage likely to dissolve into Iranian-style revolution? David Rundell - one of America's foremost experts on Saudi Arabia - explains how the country has been stable for so long, why it is less so today, and what is most likely to happen in the future. The book is based on the author's close contacts and intimate knowledge of the country where he spent 15 years living and working as a diplomat. Vision or Mirage demystifies one of the most powerful, but least understood, states in the Middle East and is essential reading for anyone interested in the power dynamics and politics of the Arab World.

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A History of Egypt - Jason Thompson Cover Art

A History of Egypt

A History of Egypt From Earliest Times to the Present by Jason Thompson

In A History of Egypt , Jason Thompson has written the first one-volume work to encompass all 5,000 years of Egyptian history, highlighting the surprisingly strong connections between the ancient land of the Pharaohs and the modern-day Arab nation.  No country's past can match Egypt's in antiquity, richness, and variety. However, it is rarely presented as a comprehensive panorama because scholars tend to divide it into distinct eras—prehistoric, pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, medieval Islamic, Ottoman, and modern—that are not often studied in relation to one another. In this daringly ambitious project, drawing on the most current scholarship as well as his own research, Thompson makes the case that few if any other countries have as many threads of continuity running through their entire historical experience. With its unprecedented scope and lively and readable style, A History of Egypt offers students, travelers, and general readers alike an engaging narrative of the extraordinarily long course of human history by the Nile. 

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A Death in Jerusalem - Kati Marton Cover Art

A Death in Jerusalem

A Death in Jerusalem The Assassination by Jewish Extremists of the First Arab/Israeli by Kati Marton

On the evening of September 17, 1948, a car carrying Count Folke Bernadotte, the first United Nations–appointed mediator in the Middle East, traveled up a narrow Jerusalem street. As the car shifted gears for the climb toward the New City, an Israeli Army jeep nosed into the road, forcing Bernadotte’s car and the two following him to come to a full stop. From the jeep sprang three uniformed men clutching automatic weapons. In a moment that set the stage for a legacy of violence that has since characterized Arab-Israeli negotiations, Count Bernadotte was shot six times and killed. The assassins were never brought to justice.   A Death in Jerusalem reveals the forces behind this assassination, the passion that first dictated the tactics of terrorism in Israel and that continue to shape the thinking and actions of those even now determined to block accommodation with the Palestinians.   At its birth in 1948, the State of Israel was endangered as much by a fratricidal war between Jewish moderates and extremists as it was by the invading armies of its Arab neighbors. In the first test of its authority, the fledgling United Nations forged a temporary truce between Arabs and Jews and dispatched Count Bernadotte to negotiate a permanent peace. A Swede with a reputation for skillful negotiations with the Nazis for the release of prisoners, including Jewish concentration-camp victims, Bernadotte had seemed the ideal choice for mediator. But he was dangerously unversed in the Israeli underground’s passionate visions of a homeland restored to its biblical geographical proportions.   To the Stern Gang, led by future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, any concession of land was as threatening to Israel’s integrity as the Arabs’ invading armies. And the Sternists did not trust Count Bernadotte, whom they saw as threatening Israel’s claim to the holy city of Jerusalem. As Bernadotte prepared his plan for the allocation of disputed territory, the Stern Gang plotted his murder.   Drawing on previously untapped sources, including Bernadotte’s family and former Stern Gang members, Kati Marton tells the vivid and haunting story of what propelled the Sternists, how they achieved their goal, and how and why the assassins were shielded from prosecution.

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Return - Ghada Karmi Cover Art

Return

Return A Palestinian Memoir by Ghada Karmi

An extraordinary memoir of exile and the impossibility of finding home, from the author of In Search of Fatima “The journey filled me with bitterness and grief. I remember looking down on a nighttime Tel Aviv from the windows of a place taking me back to London and thinking hopelessly, ‘flotsam and jetsam, that’s what we’ve become, scattered and divided. There’s no room for us or our memories here. And it won’t be reversed.’” Having grown up in Britain following her family’s exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation. In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood, her unique insights reveal a militarised and barely recognisable homeland, and her home in Jerusalem, like much of the West Bank, occupied by strangers. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers cause her to question what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

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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

The New York Times –bestselling author of Black Hawk Down delivers a “suspenseful and inspiring” account of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 ( The Wall Street Journal ).   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 captive, 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 recreated, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.   “The passions of the moment still reverberate . . . you can feel them on every page.” — Time   “A complex story full of cruelty, heroism, foolishness and tragic misunderstandings.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette   “Essential reading . . . A.” — Entertainment Weekly

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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

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Christian Science Monitor NPR The Seattle Times  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  Chicago Tribune A New York Times Notable Book Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.

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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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Mossad - Michael Bar-Zohar & Nissim Mishal Cover Art

Mossad

Mossad The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service by Michael Bar-Zohar & Nissim Mishal

"This book tells what should have been known and isn't—that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength." — Israeli President Shimon Peres For decades, Israel's renowned security arm, the Mossad, has been widely recognized as the best intelligence service in the world. In Mossad, authors Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal take us behind the closed curtain with riveting, eye-opening, boots-on-the-ground accounts of the most dangerous, most crucial missions in the agency's 60-year history. These are real Mission: Impossible true stories brimming with high-octane action—from the breathtaking capture of Nazi executioner Adolph Eichmann to the recent elimination of key Iranian nuclear scientists. Anyone who is fascinated by the world of international espionage, intelligence, and covert "Black-Ops" warfare will find Mossad electrifying reading. Mossad unveils the defining and most dangerous operations, unknown heroes, and mysterious agents of the world's most respected—and most enigmatic—intelligence service. Here are the thrilling stories of daring top secret missions, including the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the eradication of Black September, the destruction of the Syrian nuclear facility, and the elimination of key Iranian nuclear scientists. Drawn from intensive research and exclusive interviews with Israeli leaders and Mossad operatives, this riveting history brings to life the brave agents, deadly villains, and major battlegrounds that have shaped Israel and the world at large for more than sixty years.

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A Peace to End All Peace - David Fromkin Cover Art

A Peace to End All Peace

A Peace to End All Peace The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin

Published with a new afterword from the author—the classic, bestselling account of how the modern Middle East was created The Middle East has long been a region of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and ambitions. All of these conflicts—including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis, and the violent challenges posed by Iraq's competing sects—are rooted in the region's political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed by the Allies after the First World War. In A Peace to End All Peace , David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this sweeping and magisterial book the definitive account of this defining time, showing how the choices narrowed and the Middle East began along a road that led to the conflicts and confusion that continue to this day. A new afterword from Fromkin, written for this edition of the book, includes his invaluable, updated assessment of this region of the world today, and on what this history has to teach us.

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The Middle Ages - Morris Bishop Cover Art

The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages by Morris Bishop

In this indispensable volume, one of America's ranking scholars combines a life's work of research and teaching with the art of lively narration. Both authoritative and beautifully told, The Middle Ages is the full story of the thousand years between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance - a time that saw the rise of kings and emperors, the flowering of knighthood, the development of Europe, the increasing power of the Catholic Church, and the advent of the middle class. With exceptional grace and wit, Morris Bishop vividly reconstructs this distinctive era of European history in a work that will inform and delight scholars and general readers alike.

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The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit - Lucette Lagnado Cover Art

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado

“Poignant . . . deeply personal . . . an indelible history of the largely forgotten Jews of Egypt . . . ” —Miami Herald In vivid and graceful prose, Lucette Lagnado re-creates the majesty and cosmopolitan glamour of Cairo in the years before Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rise to power. With Nasser’s nationalization of Egyptian industry, her father, Leon, a boulevardier who conducted business in his white sharkskin suit, loses everything, and departs with the family for any land that will take them. The poverty and hardships they encounter in their flight from Cairo to Paris to New York are strikingly juxtaposed against the beauty and comforts of the lives they left behind. An inversion of the American dream set against the stunning portraits of three world cities, Lucette Lagnado’s memoir offers a grand and sweeping story of faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph.

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No Way Out - Mitch Weiss & Kevin Maurer Cover Art

No Way Out

No Way Out A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan by Mitch Weiss & Kevin Maurer

In a remote, enemy-held valley in Afghanistan, a Special Forces team planned to scale a steep mountain to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them… The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam.   Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.

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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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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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Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present - Max Boot Cover Art

Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present by Max Boot

New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Notable Book (Nonfiction) Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Foreign Policy A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection “Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest... hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal Invisible Armies presents an entirely original narrative of warfare, which demonstrates that, far from the exception, loosely organized partisan or guerrilla warfare has been the dominant form of military conflict throughout history. New York Times best-selling author and military historian Max Boot traces guerrilla warfare and terrorism from antiquity to the present, narrating nearly thirty centuries of unconventional military conflicts. Filled with dramatic analysis of strategy and tactics, as well as many memorable characters—from Italian nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi to the “Quiet American,” Edward Lansdale—Invisible Armies is “as readable as a novel” (Michael Korda, Daily Beast) and “a timely reminder to politicians and generals of the hard-earned lessons of history” (Economist).

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The Jews - Howard Fast Cover Art

The Jews

The Jews Story of a People by Howard Fast

The “ epic and stirring story” of 4,000 years of Judaism—told by a #1 New York Times –bestselling author ( Jewish Quarterly ). From their nomadic beginnings and the rise of Moses to the kings David and Solomon through the Diaspora and the unthinkable horror of the Holocaust—and culminating in the founding of the state of Israel—this is the sweeping tale of the Jews. Howard Fast, author of the classic Spartacus, displays his gift for compelling narrative throughout this eminently readable and well-researched saga.   In Fast’s telling, truth is stranger, and more inspiring, than fiction. “Here, I decided, was one of the most exciting and romantic adventures in all the history of mankind,” he explains in his introduction. “It had a continuity that spanned most of recorded history. It was filled with drama, passion, tragedy, and faith; and with all due reverence for the scholars, it pleaded for a storyteller to tell it as a story, indeed as the story of all stories.”   Fast’s accomplishment is required reading not only for lovers of great literature but also for anyone interested in the march of civilization. Barry Holtz, the editor of The Schocken Guide to Jewish Books hails The Jews as “an exciting and pleasurable [introduction] to a four-thousand-year epic.”   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author’s estate.

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Thirteen Days in September - Lawrence Wright Cover Art

Thirteen Days in September

Thirteen Days in September The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace by Lawrence Wright

A dramatic, illuminating day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to sign a peace treaty--the first treaty in the modern Middle East, and one which endures to this day.   With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, delving deeply into the issues and enmities between the two nations, explaining the relevant background to the conflict and to all the major participants at the conference, from the three heads of state to their mostly well-known seconds working furiously behind the scenes. What emerges is not what we've come to think of as an unprecedented yet "simple" peace. Rather, Wright reveals the full extent of Carter's persistence in pushing peace forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference--many of them lifelong enemies--attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In Thirteen Days in September , Wright gives us a gripping work of history and reportage that provides an inside view of how peace is made.

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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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The Middle Ages - Edwin S. Grosvenor Cover Art

The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages by Edwin S. Grosvenor

Between the Fall of Rome and the Renaissance were the Middle Ages. Once seen as a thousand years of warfare, religious infighting, and cultural stagnation, they are now understood to be the vital connection between the past and the present. Along with the battles that helped shape the modern world are a rich heritage of architecture, arts, and literature, of empire and its dissolution. It was the era of the Crusades and the Norman Conquest, the Black Death and the fall of Constantinople. It is a landscape both familiar and foreign, dark and foreboding at times, but also filled with the promise and potential of the future.

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On Saudi Arabia - Karen Elliott House Cover Art

On Saudi Arabia

On Saudi Arabia Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future by Karen Elliott House

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who has spent the last thirty years writing about Saudi Arabia—as diplomatic correspondent, foreign editor, and then publisher of The Wall Street Journal —an important and timely book that explores all facets of life in this shrouded Kingdom: its tribal past, its complicated present, its precarious future. Through observation, anecdote, extensive interviews, and analysis Karen Elliot House navigates the maze in which Saudi citizens find themselves trapped and reveals the mysterious nation that is the world’s largest exporter of oil, critical to global stability, and a source of Islamic terrorists. In her probing and sharp-eyed portrait, we see Saudi Arabia, one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, considered to be the final bulwark against revolution in the region, as threatened by multiple fissures and forces, its levers of power controlled by a handful of elderly Al Saud princes with an average age of 77 years and an extended family of some 7,000 princes. Yet at least 60 percent of the increasingly restive population they rule is under the age of 20. The author writes that oil-rich Saudi Arabia has become a rundown welfare state. The public pays no taxes; gets free education and health care; and receives subsidized water, electricity, and energy (a gallon of gasoline is cheaper in the Kingdom than a bottle of water), with its petrodollars buying less and less loyalty. House makes clear that the royal family also uses Islam’s requirement of obedience to Allah—and by extension to earthly rulers—to perpetuate Al Saud rule. Behind the Saudi facade of order and obedience, today’s Saudi youth, frustrated by social conformity, are reaching out to one another and to a wider world beyond their cloistered country. Some 50 percent of Saudi youth is on the Internet; 5.1 million Saudis are on Facebook. To write this book, the author interviewed most of the key members of the very private royal family. She writes about King Abdullah’s modest efforts to relax some of the kingdom’s most oppressive social restrictions; women are now allowed to acquire photo ID cards, finally giving them an identity independent from their male guardians, and are newly able to register their own businesses but are still forbidden to drive and are barred from most jobs. With extraordinary access to Saudis—from key religious leaders and dissident imams to women at university and impoverished widows, from government officials and political dissidents to young successful Saudis and those who chose the path of terrorism—House argues that most Saudis do not want democracy but seek change nevertheless; they want a government that provides basic services without subjecting citizens to the indignity of begging princes for handouts; a government less corrupt and more transparent in how it spends hundreds of billions of annual oil revenue; a kingdom ruled by law, not royal whim. In House’s assessment of Saudi Arabia’s future, she compares the country today to the Soviet Union before Mikhail Gorbachev arrived with reform policies that proved too little too late after decades of stagnation under one aged and infirm Soviet leader after another. She discusses what the next generation of royal princes might bring and the choices the kingdom faces: continued economic and social stultification with growing risk of instability, or an opening of society to individual initiative and enterprise with the risk that this, too, undermines the Al Saud hold on power. A riveting book—informed, authoritative, illuminating—about a country that could well be on the brink, and an in-depth examination of what all this portends for Saudi Arabia’s future, and for our own.

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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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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.

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