In celebration of the release of our most recent CMED Routledge series publication, Reconstructing the Middle East, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy Middle East reads recommended by the CMED team and affiliates.
If you're thirsting for even more Middle East reads, Joshua Saidoff has thrown in a few extra gems:
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East, by Gerard Russel
Gerard Russel, a British diplomat, travels Iraq seeking vestiges of ancient religions and faith communities. This colorful ethnography cum travel log introduces readers to history’s nearly forgotten worlds and to the small communities that carry that carry their traditions into the present.
Invisible Nation: How the Kurds’ Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East, by Quil Lawrence
A sympathetic portrayal of the Middle East's least appreciated and most under-reported national minority.
The Road to Fatima Gate, by Michael J. Totten
Brave insightful first-person journalistic account. weaves together first-person narrative and political commentary into an insightful and entertaining whole. a relatively quick read.
Three Empires on the Nile, by Dominic Green
History repeats itself. For anyone interested in the politics of the modern Middle East, this book should be a captivating read. For Western policymakers who wish to effect change in the region, it should be illuminating and humbling.
Oil Kings, by Andrew Scott Cooper
A new look at a history you thought you knew. Andrew Scott Cooper plumbs the archives and emerges with an astounding history of collusion and mutual dependence between Nixon / Kissinger and the Shah of Iran.
Ally, by Michael Oren
Anguished account of Israel's first American-born envoy to the United States. It expresses the closeness and complexity of the interpersonal and diplomatic relations between the two countries. This book also includes a painful and stinging indictment of the Obama administration's handling of the US-Israel alliance, but also accounts of genuine and close cooperation between an Administration that is genuinely committed to Israeli security but fundamentally at odds quit Israel's strategic outlook.
The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership, by Yehuda Aviner
Yehuda Aviner’s humanity, his menschlichkeit, shines through the stories he tells of Israel’s first Prime Ministers. Aviner was there to see it all. He was often the only person in the room when Israeli and American or British leaders met. And, when Israeli Prime Ministers stepped up to the podium, under the glare of the cameras, it was Aviner’s words that they intoned. For all of this, Aviner remained a humble and sincere public servant. This may be Aviner’s auto-biography, but true to form, it is written in homage to those leaders he admired most, Israel’s Prime Ministers.