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Still Awaited: A Truly Objective History of the Making of the Modern Middle East

We are now witnessing a harvest of new history books on the making of the modern Middle East. Five are chosen for a critical review below. They are works by experts, well-researched and highly readable and infinitely more objective than the over-supply of Eurocentric or Orientalist books of the past. Yet, all four have limitations, lacking due Ottoman/Turkish/Arab/Muslim sentiment and “flavor.” The fifth on the Ottoman siege of Vienna is illuminating and relevant to the on-going debate on Turkey-EU relations. It, too, has its limitations

Still Awaited A Truly Objective History of the Making of
 

The Fall of the Ottomans, The Great War in the Middle East

By Eugene Rogan

Basic Books, 2015, 512 pages, $20.75, ISBN: 9780465023073

 

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

By Scott Anderson

Signal, 2014, 577 pages, $22.00, ISBN: 9781782392026

 

The Poisoned Well, Empire and Its Legacy in the Middle East

By Roger Hardy

Oxford University Press, 2017, 380 pages, $27.95, ISBN: 9780190623203

 

The Enemy at the Gate, Habsburgs, Ottomans and 
the Battle for Europe

By Andrew Wheatcroft

Basic Books, 2008, 337 pages, $24.00, ISBN: 9780465020812

 

 

We are now witnessing a harvest of new history books on the making of the modern Middle East. Five are chosen for a critical review below. They are works by experts, well-researched and highly readable and infinitely more objective than the over-supply of Eurocentric or Orientalist books of the past. Yet, all four have limitations, lacking due Ottoman/Turkish/Arab/Muslim sentiment and “flavor.” The fifth on the Ottoman siege of Vienna is illuminating and relevant to the on-going debate on Turkey-EU relations. It, too, has its limitations. 

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