A History of the Modern Middle East (4th Edition) by William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton

By William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton

This entire paintings presents a penetrating research of recent heart jap historical past, from the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, during the problem of Western imperialism, to the yank invasion of Iraq and Iran’s new impact within the zone. After introducing the reader to the region’s heritage from the origins of Islam within the 7th century, A historical past of the fashionable heart East makes a speciality of the prior centuries of profound and infrequently dramatic switch. even though outfitted round a framework of political historical past, the booklet additionally conscientiously integrates social, cultural, and fiscal advancements right into a unmarried, expertly crafted account. In updating this fourth variation of the past due William Cleveland’s renowned introductory textual content, Martin Bunton addresses fresh transformative advancements within the heart East, charting the decline within the peace clients among Israelis and Palestinians, elaborating upon the resurgence of Islam, and devoting a brand new bankruptcy to “America’s stricken second within the heart East,” which information the aftermath of the Iraq struggle and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Cities became centers of production and consumption, and urban life flourished in bustling ports like Fustat, Almería in Spain, and Basra, the home of Sindbad the Sailor in the tales of the 1,001 Nights. The long-distance caravan trade revived existing inland cities such as Damascus and Aleppo and generated tremendous population and commercial growth in Marv, Samarkand, and Bukhara, the eastern cities that acted as way stations along the Silk Route to China. Merchants exploited the commercial opportunities of the expanding international marketplace to acquire huge fortunes.

The discontent culminated in a revolution that overthrew the Umayyad house in 750 and brought to power a new dynasty, that of the Abbasids. The office of the caliphate remained with the Abbasids from 750 to 1258. Under the Abbasids, the heroic age of the conquests gave way to the development of administrative institutions, commercial enterprises, and a legal system. The bureaucrat, the urban merchant, and the learned judge replaced the Arab warrior as the favored element in society. The consolidation of the conquests in the geographical center of a centuries-old admixture of cultural and religious traditions resulted in a complex interaction between the existing cultures and religions of the Middle East and the dynamic infusion of energy from Arabia.

Arabic replaced Greek, Persian, Aramaic, and other established literary traditions as the language of administration and high culture; Islam replaced, though it did not eliminate, Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and paganism as the dominant religion in the Middle East. This process of replacement raises important questions. In its interaction with the existing literary, religious, and administrative traditions of Byzantium and Iran, how could the Islam of the revelations, the Islam of the Prophet’s caravan city of Mecca, survive as a guide to administrative, economic, and social practices?

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