Very Basic Suggested Reading List on Middle East*
Berkey, Jonathan P. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Cleveland, William L. A History of the Modern Middle East. 3rd edn. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2004.
Dodge, Toby. Inventing Iraq : the failure of nation-building and a history denied New York : Columbia University Press, 2003.
Gelvin, James. The modern Middle East: a history. New York : Oxford University Press, 2005.
Gerges, Fawaz. The far enemy: why Jihad went global. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Hourani, Albert. A history of the Arab peoples. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991.
– General history of the Arab world from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present.
Keddie, Nikki. Modern Iran: Roots and Results of revolution. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003.
– History of modern Iran, with some early modern and nineteenth-century background, but good treatment of the twentieth century and the Islamic Republic.
Kennedy, Hugh. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. London: Longman, 1989.
Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian identity : the construction of modern national consciousness. New York : Columbia University Press, 1997.
Khalidi, Rashid. Resurrecting Empire : western footprints and America’s perilous path in the Middle East. Boston : Beacon Press, 2004.
Kennedy, Hugh. When Baghdad Ruled the World. New York: Perseus Books, 2006.
– Explores the medieval history of Muslim-ruled Iraq and its civilizational glories. People who doubt its importance should try doing math in Roman numerals with no zero and no algrebra.
Kepel, Gilles. Jihad : the trail of political Islam. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Marr, Phebe. The modern history of Iraq. 2nd ed. Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 2004.
McAlister, Melani. Epic encounters : culture, media, and U.S. interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000 Berkeley : University of California Press, 2001.
Montgomery Watt. Muhammad Prophet and Statesman. Oxford University Press, rev. 1961. A Galaxy Book.
Mottahedeh, Roy. The mantle of the Prophet : religion and politics in Iran. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1985.
Packer, George. The assassins’ gate: America in Iraq 1st ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.
Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambrige University Press, 2005.
Best recent social history of the greatest Middle Eastern empire and its early twentieth-century demise
Rosen, Nir. In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq. New York: Free Press, 2006.
Shadid, Anthony. Night draws near : Iraq’s people in the shadow of America’s war. New York : Henry Holt, 2005.
Shlaim, Avi. The iron wall : Israel and the Arab world New York : W.W. Norton, 2000.
Smith, Charles. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.
*All my friends whose books are not listed here should please forgive me. This list is meant to be very basic and comes in response to requests for suggestions from the public.