Topics in Middle East History


(Compiled by T. Pavlidis. Books are listed alphabetically by last name of first author)

[FB78] Franz Babinger, Mehmed the Conqueror and his Time, Princeton Univ. Press, 1978. Translated from the German. First German edition was in 1953.
[JB83] Jacob Burckhardt, The Age of Constantine the Great, Univ. of California Press, 1983. Reprint of the original 1949 edition.
[EW92] R. Eisenman and M. Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, Barnes&Noble, 1992.
[CF05] Caroline Finkel, Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923, Basic Books, 2005.
[EG] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, first published in 1788.
Note: I use the 1978 reprint of the 1910 Everyman's Library (Dutton: New York) unabridged edition with comments by Oliphant Smeaton. I cite chapters (independent of the edition) as well as volume and page. Some people consider this book unfair to the Byzantines. However numerous footnote quotations in Greek from Byzantine authors confirm Gibbon's judgment. (Because the footnotes contain large amounts of Greek and Latin text, they are usually omitted from abridged editions.)
[Hu61] J. M. Hussey, The Byzantine World, Harper, 1961. A nice concise (188pp) history, but out of print.
[HI94] Halil Inalcik, An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1600, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994.
[Ku07] James L. Kugel How to Read the Bible, Free Press, 2007.
[LL98] Lee I. Levine, Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity, Univ. of Washington Press, 1998.
[BL95] Bernard Lewis, The Middle East, A brief History of the last 2000 years, Touchtone, 1995. This is the book to read, if you have time for only one book from this list.
[BL02a] Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, Third Edition, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002.
[BL02b] Bernard Lewis What Went Wrong?, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002.
[HL03] Heath W. Lowry The Nature of the Early Ottoman State, SUNY Press, 2003.
[SM02] Sandra Mackey Reckoning - Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Husseing, Norton, 2002.
[CM02] Cyril Mango, editor, The Oxford History of Byzantium, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002. Richly illustrated.
[SM10] Sean McMeekin, The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, Harvard Univ. Press, 2010.
[ES92] Ε. Σκοπετεα, Η Δυση της Ανατολης, Γνωση, Athens, 1992. A scholarly study of the interaction between East (the Ottoman Empire) and Western Europe. Probably, the best book I have read on the subject.
[VT59] V. Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (Hendrickson reprint in 1999 of the original 1959 edition). The classic treatise on the subject.
[WT97] Warren Treadgold, A HIstory of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford Univ. Press, 1997. 1019pp.
[SV71] Speros Vryonis, Jr, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century, Univ. of California Press, 1971.
Note: This book is kept in print by ACLS and it can be purchased directly from ACLS or from Amazon. It contains numerous references and quotes from texts of that period.
[MW96] Mark Whittow, The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025, Univ. of California Press, 1996.
[Wr09] R. Wright, The Evolution of God, Little, Brown, New York, 2009.
[FZ03] Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom, Norton, New York, 2003.

First Posted: December 14, 2009. Latest Revision: February 20, 2011.

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