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Middle East - book recommendations?

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Tiarella

Middle East - book recommendations?

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In the course of discussing the Feb. 2004 Rationally Speaking article, I came to the realization that what I knew about the Middle East came mostly from books I read as a child, novels, and newspapers-that-omit-much. I need to become much better informed.I am now drowning in Amazon.com's 12,375 books on "Middle East." Does anyone here share my interest/curiosity? Can you recommend any particular book(s)?
Tiarella

Re: Middle East - book recommendations?

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Thanks, Chris. That looks interesting! The Amazon page also has relevant links - I'm looking at them now. Er - I was. I see it's time for me to vamoose!edit: Whoa, Shannon, I didn't see your post - sometimes I start a post, go into another window to look something up - and miss the intervening post(s). Thanks for your suggestions - they're very helpful. I was going through my library system's list, and even it was daunting. (The library systems combined into one huge megasystem - though they still don't carry the Marcellinus text.) Since the first text(s) I read can influence me heavily, I want to either find one that is reasonably balanced or two that offset each other. So far all I've ventured to request are purportedly just-the-facts-ma'am regional atlases. Edited by: Tiarella at: 4/22/04 7:04 pm
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Middle East - book recommendations?

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TiarellaI've read only one book on the Middle East in an effort to understand the culture. Have you heard of "The Arab Mind?" I think you would enjoy this book immensely.Book DescriptionThe classic study of Arab culture and society is now more relevant than ever. Since its original publication in 1983, the revised edition of Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind has been recognized as one of the seminal works in the field of Middle Eastern studies. This penetrating analysis unlocks the mysteries of Arab society to help us better understand a complex, proud and ancient culture. The Arab Mind discusses the upbringing of a typical Arab boy or girl, the intense concern with honor and courage, the Arabs' tendency toward extremes of behavior, and their ambivalent attitudes toward the West. Chapters are devoted to the influence of Islam, sexual mores, Arab language and Arab art, Bedouin values, Arab nationalism, and the pervasive influence of Westernization. With a new foreword by Norvell B. DeAtkine, Director of Middle East Studies at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, N.C., this book unravels the complexities of Arab traditions and provides authentic revelations of Arab mind and character. Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
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Re: Middle East - book recommendations?

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Tiarella,There is one book that I highly recommend for anyone hoping to find a fair, balanced and consistently moral approach to understanding the complex chaos called the Middle East...more specifically, the Palestinian/Israeli crisis.That book is Healing Israel/Palestine: A Path to Reconcilliation by Rabbi Michael Lerner. Highly readable, hard to put down, enfuriating and plausible, full of painful analysis yet hopeful dignoses...a 'must-read' for anyone serious about a just-peace in the region.Another book, far more difficult to master, yet much more thorough, precise and documented to the hilt, is Noam Chomsky's Middle East Illusions: Including Peace in the Middle East?: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood. This is vintage Chomsky, fearless, rational, and impeccably moral as he digs through the layers upon layers of propaganda, half-truths and lies that cloud the decades-long American obstruction of peace in the Middle East. Cheers!
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