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wburns_kh
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Current affairs--the Middle East

Some big books coming out on the Middle East--the Iraq Study Group report and Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, to name two. What are your favorite books on current affairs in that part of the world?
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dlcjr
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

The most informative books on the Middle East that I have read are (1) A Peace to End All Peace. The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, by David Fromkin and (2) From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman. I bought both of these just after the start of the first Gulf War in 1991. I'd recommend Fromkin's book for the details of post WW1 Middle East. It's long (500 pages or so) but a great read. Friedman's book gives a good overview of the Israel/Lebanon/Palestinan conflicts in the 1980's. Dave C (www.readablehistory.com)
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Books on the Middle East



wburns_kh wrote:
Some big books coming out on the Middle East--the Iraq Study Group report and Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, to name two. What are your favorite books on current affairs in that part of the world?


The Iron Cage by Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University. His theme is that (1) the Palestinians made a lot of bad decisions going all the way back to the 1920's and (2) that the West never really bargained in good faith with the Palestinians.

I suspect that Carter's book on Palestine will say the same thing. When Carter was on Charlie Rose's show he indicated as much.

Another book that I've just started is the Looming Tower - Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. This book reads like a Tom Clancy book. A real page-turner.

I feel that this Palestinian problem absolutely must be solved before anything else can be achieved in the Middle East. It can't be simply by-passed till a later date which our leadership seems to have done.

I'm afraid that the U.S. doesn't appreciate how strongly the Arab Muslims feel about this issue.

My grandkids' lives are going to be consumed with this problem.
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timmer76
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Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

Best book on the subject: The Fateful Triangle: United States, Israel and the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky.

It was fascinating to read about some key and crucial facts that were backed up with plenty of citations to sources. I was quite surprised and spent a fair amount of time researching some of the facts and the sources to check them out, and all that I checked were correct. Some of these facts you rarely hear about in the mainstream media or press.
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Skyler97
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

Two I would reccomend are Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response" and "The Black Dog of Fate". Both books deal with the slaughter of the Christian Armenian and to a lesser extent the Greek citizens of the decaying Muslim Ottoman Empire 100 years ago. The latter book is partially the writer's memoirs and recollections of his family by his grandmother who survived. The former is a well documented look at this terrible period complete with pictures taken by some of the German advisors to their Cenral Powers ally to document the tragedy and convince the Kaiser to intervene(many of these same people coincidentally were among the most outspoken German critics of the Nazi's in pre WWII Germany.)

Another that comes to mind is "O, Jerusalem" Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre which documents the events of 1948 and doesn't really take sides.

Though many years out of date Chaim Herzog's "The Arab Israeli Wars" is another good source of information. I heard it has been updated to cover events up to 2005 but haven't seen that version.

"Charlie Wilson's War" by George Crile documents the American intervention in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. It is one of those truth is stranger than fiction tales and is rumoured to soon be a Major Motion Picture starring Tom Hanks.
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Najlah
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

Of course I'd recommend Carter's book, a very honest and courageous evaluation of what is going on within Palestine, also: The Iron Cage, The Other Side of Israel by Susan Nathan, Israel and the Arabs, History of Modern Palestine, America's Kingdom by Robert Vitalis, Ploughing Sand by Naomi Shepherd and I really have an endless list...
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ann_m80
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Registered: ‎08-21-2007
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

[ Edited ]
Great book club, btw!

Message Edited by ann_m80 on 08-21-2007 02:55 PM
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ann_m80
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Registered: ‎08-21-2007
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Re: Current affairs--the Middle East

Since you’re interested in Jimmy Carter's work and Middle East topics, I thought you may want to check out a CNN documentary which features several interviews with Carter and deals with the Middle East.

CNN Presents: God’s Warriors is set to premiere Tuesday, August 21 and runs three continuous nights.

- CNN Presents: God’s Jewish Warriors on Tuesday, August 21, 9pm ET/PT
- CNN Presents: God’s Muslim Warriors on Wednesday, August 22, 9pm ET/PT
- CNN Presents: God’s Christian Warriors on Thursday, August 23, 9pm ET/PT

I am working with M80 on behalf of CNN to spread the word about this show. Hope you enjoy it!
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