Joumana Haddad is angry about the way Arab women are portrayed in the West. In I Killed Scheherazade she challenges prevalent notions of identity and womanhood in the Middle East and speaks of her own intellectual development and the liberating impact of literature on her life. Fiery and candid, this is a provocative exploration of what it means to be an Arab woman today. 'A vivid assertion of individuality, free speech, free choice and dignity against religious bigotry, prejudice and the herd instinct both within and outside the Arab world, and within and outside Islam' Guardian
'A spirited call to Arab women to stand up' New York Times
'It takes genius to attain such radical freedom.' Etel Adnan
'In this courageous book Joumana Haddad breaks down the taboo of the silent absent Arab woman.' Elfriede Jelinek
'A very courageous and illuminating book about women in the Arab world. It opens our eyes, destroys our prejudices and is very entertaining.'
Mario Vargas Llosa
'Joumana Haddad cannot be intimidated. This book is a lesson of courage for all those who fight to go beyond their own limits and chains.'
'Literature is often a storm that breaks the rules of decorum and forces us to come face to face with our weaknesses and illusions. Joumana Haddad is a poet who inhabits the storm.' Tahar Ben Jelloun
Bodour, a distinguished literary critic, carries with her a dark secret. As a young university student, she fell in love with a political activist and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Zeina, whom she abandoned on the streets of Cairo. Zeina grows up to become one of Egypt's most beloved entertainers, despite being deprived of a family name and a home. Bodour in turn remains trapped in a loveless marriage, pining for her daughter and lost love. In an attempt to find solace, she writes a fictionalised account of her life, which then mysteriously gets stolen. Set against the backdrop of revolution in Cairo, Zeina is a tale about regret, loss and the courage it takes for a mother to face up to the mistakes of her past. 'Read this novel to grasp the bravery of El Saadawi's activism in Egypt or to learn more about her country than we saw on our TV screens this spring...' Guardian 'An uncompromising attack on patriarchy, power and hypocrisy in modern-day Egypt' The Times 'More than any other woman, El Saadawi has come to embody the trials of Arab feminism.' San Francisco Chronicle 'Nawal El Saadawi is a formidable force in the international world of literature.' Philip Womack, New Humanist 'El Saadawi writes with directness and passion.' New York Times 'A poignant and brave writer' Marie Claire
Homosexuality is a taboo subject in the Arab world. While clerics denounce it as a heinous sin, newspapers write cryptically of 'shameful acts' and 'deviant behaviour'. Amid the calls for reform in the Middle East, homosexuality is one issue that almost everyone in the region would prefer to ignore. In this absorbing account, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker calls attention to the voices of men and women who are struggling with gay identities in societies where they are marginalized and persecuted by the authorities. He paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, fearful lives and who are often jailed, beaten, and ostracized by their families, or sent to be 'cured' by psychiatrists. Deeply informed and engagingly written, Unspeakable Love reveals that -- while deeply repressive prejudices and stereotypes still govern much thinking about homosexuality -- there are pockets of change and tolerance. Unspeakable Love was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award in 2006. This updated edition includes new material covering developments since the book's first publication. 'A must-read for anyone who believes in human rights' Rabih Alameddine 'Masterful -- incredibly balanced and thoughtful' Ben Summerskill 'Anyone interested in reform in the Arab world must read this book' Mai Yamani 'Wise and compassionate' Guardian 'Groundbreaking' Daily Star Lebanon 'Never before has such a comprehensive study of gay civil rights been published' The Middle East Gay Journal Boldly delves into one of the biggest taboos in modern Muslim societies with subtlety and sensitivity' Globe and Mail
The problems in the Middle East run deeper than dictatorship. Inspired by the popular uprisings that overthrew the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, Arabs across the Middle East are demanding change. But achieving real freedom will involve more than the removal of a few dictators. Looking beyond the turmoil reported on our TV screens, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker examines the 'freedom deficit' that affects Arabs in their daily lives: their struggles against corruption, discrimination and bureaucracy, and the stifling authoritarianism that pervades homes, schools and mosques as well as presidential palaces. Drawing on a wealth of new research and wide-ranging interviews, Whitaker analyses the views of people living in the region and argues that in order to achieve peace, prosperity and full participation in today's global economy, Arabs should embrace not only political change but far-reaching social and cultural change as well. 'A passionate call for political and social change in Arab countries' Jeremy Bowen 'A call to arms for Arab citizens' International Affairs 'A lively, highly readable and illuminating survey of the countless things that are wrong with the Middle East today' Avi Shlaim, Guardian 'This is a writer willing to rattle a few cages... Detailed and well-documented' Huffington Post '[Should] be required reading by Arab elites from the Atlantic to the Gulf' Patrick Seale, Al Hayat 'Whitaker spares no criticism of the region's governments' Egypt Today'Outstanding and credible' Jordan Times
Young women drift through Prague wondering about unplanned pregnancies, a child's reflections on the Christian concept of sinfulnesslead to resolve to sin only 'just a little bit', drunken men banter over interminable card games, and a woman's salvation comes in the unexpected form of pickled buttocks. Bringing together authors of different generations, styles and backgrounds - including for the first time in English translation, two stories by Czech Roma - this collection expresses women's meultiple perspectives on social and intimate issues with by turns caustic and sensitive insight into human nature. 'Full of humour, acuity and inventiveness' Maya Jaggi, Guardian 'Wonderfully diverse, energetic and entertaining.' Bernie Higgins, One Eye Open
From Lebanon's golden age, through years of civil conflict and its aftermath, these women offer a captivating portrait of a country in flux. Well-known authors such as Emily Nasarallah, Hanan al-Shaykh and Alawiya Sobh, alongside newer voices, share he desire to push boundaries, tackling subjects from the crippling effects of war in past decades, through longing for romantic adventures in a conservative society, to the functioning of families across the divides of emigration and generational conflict. The characters in these stories are on the brink of something - whether it be religious or social divides, or sexual awakening. The language reflects the great tension, and the great beauty in their transformation. And the collection as a whole reveals the rich diversity of the complex multi-cultural society out of which these stories have emerged. 'In turn lyrical, sensuous, comic and ironic ... rare and fascinating ...' Independent 'Some truly insightful, engaging work ...' New Statesman
Alfred White, a London park keeper, rules his home with a mixture of ferocity and tenderness that has estranged his three children. But family ties are strong, and when Alfred collapses on duty one day, they rush to be with him. His daughter's partner, Elroy, a black social worker, is brought face to face with Alfred's younger son Dirk, who hates and fears all black people, and the scene is set for violence, forcing Alfred's wife May to choose between justice and kinship. This groundbreaking novel takes on the taboo subject of racial hatred as it looks at love, hatred, sex, comedy and death in an ordinary British family. The White Family points to new directions in British writing. Full of power and passion, as well as somte timely warnings, this is one of the year's finest novels, and it deserves the widest possible readership.' Literary Review Intensely touching, full of ironies, situational and verbal, [and] brilliantly connected with contemporary society.' Financial Times The White Family tackles an unspeakable subject with quiet courage. Beautifully written, it tells the complex story of racism from the point of view of the perpetrators. The result is an astonishing examination of the changes, complexities and difficulties at the heart of a multi-ethnic suburban community.' The Big Issue A transcendent work, splitting open a family to bare the rough edges of prejudice, self-righteousness and petulant self-justification that we all recognise. The words of James Baldwin resonate throughout: 'Books taught me that the things that tormented me the most were the things that connected me to everyone who was alive and who had ever been alive.' Daily Telegraph Gee's book is bold because of her willingness to write about the living, shifting present. An unashamedly contemporary novel - a millennium novel, if you like - that embraces the ideological and emotional chaos of our times. The Independent Skilful structure and tender, precise prose.' The Observer Picking up where Toni Morrison leaves off, Gee reminds us that racism not only devastates the lives of its victims, but also those of its perpetrators. Like Eugene O'Neill, Maggie Gee moves skilfully between compassion and disgust.' TLS Elegant style and an expert ear for dialogue ... courageous, honest, powerfully real and not a little disturbing.' The Times Full of good writing.' The Spectator Maggie Gee is one of our most ambitious and challenging novelists.' The Spectator The White Family is an audacious, groundbreaking conditionof- England novel which tilts expertly at a middle class fallacy that racism is something 'out there', in the football terraces or the sink estates ... Finely judged and compulsively readable.' The Guardian Outstanding ... tender, sexy and alarming.' Jim Crace A brilliant depiction of British society.' Bernardine Evaristo
This volume offers a comprehensive discussion of the contemporary debates within political Islam, providing an in-depth analysis of the specific movements, countries and regions in the Arab world and Israel. The contributors contend that the evolution of Islamic movements is contextual rather than ideological. Therefore, Islamic movements are best understood individually within their own historical, socio-political and cultural setting. Political Islam is an essential reference for academics, researchers and the media, as well as general readers with an interest in Islamic political debates. Contributors include Abdullah Baabood, Youcef Bouandel, Abdelwahab El-Affendi, Kamal Helbawy, Roel Meijer, Ibrahim Moussawi, Tariq Ramadan, Tilde Rosmer, Murad Batal al-Shishani, Sara Silvestri and Camille Tawil. '[Hroub's] work on Hamas is exceptional a lucid, informative and extremely valuable introduction to this complex organisation.' Sara Roy, Harvard University
How do you become a writer, and why? Maggie Gee's journey starts a long way from the literary world in a small family in post-war Britain. At seventeen, Maggie goes, a lamb to the slaughter, to university. From the 1960s onwards she lives the defining events of her generation: the coming of the Pill and sexual freedom, tremors in the British layer-cake of class and race. In the 1980s, Maggie finally gets published, falls in love, marries and has a daughter -- but for the next three decades and beyond, she survives, and sometimes thrives, by writing. This frank, bold memoir dares to explore the big questions: success and failure, sex, death and parenthood -- our animal life. 'A wise and beautiful book about what it feels like to be alive -- I really loved it' Zadie Smith 'Exceptionally interesting and brave ... a wonderful book' Claire Tomalin 'A fine, honest, complex portrait of an artist's mind' Michele Roberts, Independent 'Every word strikes like a hammer on an anvil, throwing off sizzling sparks' Bidisha, The f word 'Anyone who yearns for that lost post-war Britain would do well to read this vivid, minutely observed memoir ...Gee has a sensuous eye for detail' Sinclair McKay, Telegraph 'It is a testament to Gee's skill with structure, her lightness of touch and her honesty, particularly about the most painful episodes, that she has fashioned this account of a fundamentally satisfying and happy writer's life into such a page-turner.' Melissa Benn, New Statesman 'Magie Gee writes with such courage and wit. This is a vivid portrait of a woman finding her way through the maze of class ridden post war England, the 60's, feminism and how to be a mother and a writer.' Diana Melly 'Highly recommended for all aspiring writers' Bernardine Evaristo 'Observant, honest and sensitively-written...' Michael Holroyd 'Fresh and funny ... with a zest for living that bounces off the page...' Psychologies 'Sensitive, honest, courageous, stylish' The Times '[Gee's] utterly compelling on the rollercoaster of writing life, from early success to rock-bottom rejection. Often joyous; infinitely wise; passionate and poised, this is a book you'll want to sit in silence with and hug to yourself -- then start again.' Daily Mail
President Bliss is handling a tricky situation with customary brio, but after months of ceaseless rain the city is sinking under the floods. The rich are safe on high ground, but the poor are getting damper in their packed tower blocks, and the fanatical 'Last Days' sect is recruiting thousands. When at last the sun breaks through the clouds Lottie heads off to the opera, husband Harold listens to jazz and their ditsy teenage daughter Lola fights capitalism by bunking off school. Shirley takes her twin boys to the zoo. The government - eager to detract attention from a foreign war it has waged - announces a spectacular City Gala. But not even TV astrologer Davey Lucas can predict the extraordinary climax that ensues. 'Gripping, original and highly entertaining - Maggie Gee at her superb best.' J G Ballard 'Dazzling ... alternately lyrical and austere ... unbearably touching.' The Observer 'Eloquent, angry and beautiful ... her best book yet.' Hilary Mantel 'The Flood is Gee's most apocalyptic vision to date ... an incredible feat of sustained imaginative continuity.' The Guardian 'A Must-Read Book for 2004.' Daily Mail ' ... an addition to an eccentric but valuable tradition of English fiction ... in which the visionary and the mundane mingle, producing effects by turn comical and grand.' Sunday Times 'Gee's ability to ask big "what if?" questions while never losing sight of the humdrum details of life ... gives her un-brave new world credibility.' The Independent '...exhuberant ... I thoroughly enjoyed it.' Sunday Telegraph 'The Flood, for all its passion and intricacy, is also a very funny book ... rewarding ... carefully written, using language echoing the water that ebbs and flows, and eventually floods the pages.' TLS ' ...a rare writer who is willing to address issues topical to contemporary Britain' Daily Telegraph 'A playful apocalypse.' The Bookseller ' ... a surprising melange of fantasy, realism, and very dry humour' Big Issue ' ... startling, insidious imagery' Metro 'Gee's admirably dyspeptic and frequently funny novel is a wake-up call to us all' Mail on Sunday 'Acutely drawn characters, and subtle observations about relationships and nature.' Time Out 'A satirist this lyrical, warm-hearted and imaginative is, like a unicorn, a rare and precious beast.' Weekend Australian
The Arab-Israeli conflict goes far beyond the wars waged on Middle East battlefields. There is also a war of narratives revolving around the two defining traumas of the conflict: the Holocaust and the Nakba. One side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others. In this path-breaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyzes the various Arab responses to the Holocaust, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Achcar offers a unique ideological mapping of the Arab world, in the process defusing an international propaganda war that has become a major stumbling block in the path of Arab-Western understanding. 'A magisterial study of breath-taking empathy, examining one of the most painful and emotion-laden topics in the modern world with dispassion, sensitivity and high erudition' Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University 'An erudite, perceptive, and highly original study' Avi Shlaim 'A fascinating, subtle and original analysis of Israeli and Arab historical narratives' Simon Sebag Montefiore, BBC History Magazine 'This exhaustive survey of Arabic sources is particularly important in correcting the many distortions circulated by polemicists seeking to paint Arabs and Muslims as anti-Semites.' Eugene Rogan, Times Literary Supplement 'A refreshing and original study, showing clearly that Muslim anti-Semitism is neither universal, nor inevitable, nor subject to pat explanations.' The Economist
The sharp increase in oil revenues since 2002 has left the Arab Gulf States with billions of petro-dollars. But how will these countries fare in the post-oil era? The rulers of these states are taking serious measures to ensure the survival of their economies, and indeed their regimes, in a world with scarce mineral resources. This volume explores the extent to which these countries have been and will be able to prepare for the future by transforming themselves into serious international destinations for tourism, finance, healthcare and education. It also considers the implications of failure for the future survival of their regimes. This study will provide food for thought for academics, policy makers and general readers. 'An incisive enquiry into an exciting region, the authors leave no stones unturned. It is bold in its examination of both the history and the crucial changes being wrought throughout the Gulf. The book, which has been fashioned with both detailed knowledge and academic rigour, will be of huge advantage to anyone seeking a practical chart to the region. The contributors have not been restrained in drawing examples of the Gulf States over-reaching themselves to danger points in the economic downturn. The severe lessons learned have been studiously researched. The fresh opportunities, political, economic, social and technological, are concisely considered. No matter where your interests lie, this is a solid foundation from which to build a 'Way Ahead' policy for the region.'Charles Wilson, Director of The Consultancy, an international human resources business with Gulf experience
The hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a religious duty to be performed once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able. The Prophet Muhammad set out the rituals of hajj when he led what became known as the Farewell Hajj in 10 AH / 632AD. This set the seal on Muhammad's career as the founder of a religion and the leader of a political entity based on that religion. The convergence of the Prophet with the politician infuses the hajj with political, as well as religious, significance. For the caliphs who led the Islamic community after Muhammad's death, leadership of the hajj became a position of enormous political relevance as it presented them with an unrivalled opportunity to proclaim their pious credentials and reinforce their political legitimacy. Exhaustively researched, The Meaning of Mecca is the first study to analyse the leadership of the hajj in the formative and medieval periods and to assess the political subtext of Islam's most high-profile religious ritual.
The Caucasus has an extremely rich folk literature, almost unknown among English speakers, which includes myths, legends, magical tales, anecdotes and proverbs. The one hundred and one legends included in this book reflect the cultures of fourteen different ethnic groups their dynamism and the matters that concerned them: survival against external dangers, the risk of starvation and the persistence of the family or clan as a coordinated group. Descended from an oral tradition, much of their knowledge was retained in memories and passed down the generations. Yet, with the introduction of the alphabet, the way of life they portray is rapidly becoming extinct. An incomparable collection, Legends of the Caucasus conveys the poetry and romance of these swiftly vanishing tribes. 'This book has brought into light some of the hidden treasures of the Caucasus A major contribution not only to the study of the Caucasus, but also to world folklore.' John Colarusso, McMaster University, Canada 'Inventive and meticulous in rendering the extraordinary folk poetry of the many nations of the Caucasus [This is] essential reading for anyone seeking an insight into the cultures of the Caucasus.' Donald Rayfield, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Lebanon today is at a fateful crossroads in its eventful socio-cultural and political history. Imperiled by unsettling transformations, from postwar reconstruction and rehabilitation to the forces of postmodernity and globalism, it remains adrift. In this landmark study, Samir Khalaf explores how ordinary citizens, burdened by the consequences of an ugly and unfinished war, persisting regional rivalries, mounting economic deprivation and diminishing prospects for well-being, find meaning and coherence in a society that has not only lost its moorings and direction, but also its sense of control. Khalaf argues that a mood of lethargy and indifference prevails, with a growing tendency for the Lebanese to seek refuge in religiosity, communalism and cloistered spatial identities, or temporary relief in the allure of mass consumerism. 'Timely and provocative Samir Khalaf offers an empirically rich and theoretically broad survey of Lebanese society.' Craig Larkin, University of Exeter 'Samir Khalaf is the foremost scholar writing on Lebanese politics and society today. This book re-affirms his stature with its keen observations, eloquent prose and impassioned arguments about the escapist and narcissistic maladies afflicting postwar Lebanon.' Akram Khater, North Carolina State University 'A skilled sociological reading of contemporary Lebanon by a master of the discipline.' Augustus Richard Norton, Boston University and University of Oxford
Vanessa Henman, a plucky but accident-prone white writer, flies from London to Uganda for an African writers' conference. She also means to visit her former cleaner, Ugandan Mary Tendo, now the successful Executive Housekeeper of Kampala's up-market Sheraton Hotel. But Mary has her own agenda: her son Jamil is missing, and she has secretly summoned Vanessa's beloved ex-husband Trevor, a plumber, to her home village to build a new well. Vanessa sets off alone on safari to distant Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the mountain gorillas. But she quarrels with her driver and a bloody war closes in on Bwindi from Congo. Can anyone save her? Will Mary Tendo find her son? One of her strongest novels to date...fast-moving, energetic, constantly surprising' Hilary Mantel Maggie Gee has never written better' Rose Tremain A tour de force - brilliantly structured, surprising, humane, and suspenseful' Elaine Showalter Brilliant...just brilliant...this book deserves to be published in every language' Hillary Jordan 'Executed with a lovely, light touch ... an immensely enjoyable novel.' Lionel Shriver, Daily Telegraph 'Worldy, witty, enjoyable, impressive' Doris Lessing 'Sparky, funny and terrifically entertaining' Guardian
It's the middle of the twenty-first century, and the next Ice Age has suddenly sent global warming into reverse. Saul is one of the Ice People, the threatened peoples of the northern hemisphere, who, watching their world freeze over, try to move south towards the equator... 'Excellent ... intelligent, driven, imaginative, obsessive yet still gracious, one of our best ... Exciting stuff.' Fay Weldon 'Ambitious and subtle... She writes elegantly, unsentimentally, expertly... The Ice People works persuasively as science fiction, and is truthful about our emotional lives.' Independent 'Infused with poetic intensity ... this is a gripping fictional realisation of what we fear: the death of civilisation. Maggie Gee achieves her apocalyptic vision without the clank of hardware and intergalactic wars. Her detail is precise and controlled and her beautifully orchestrated whisper of redemption is rooted in eternal myth.' Elizabeth Buchan The Times 'An intriguing novel of ideas, fully fleshed out ... Classy science fiction.' Mail on Sunday 'A remarkable novel... up there with Orwell and Huxley.' Jeremy Paxman 'A gem of a book.' Rose Tremain 'A rattling good page-turning yarn.' George Melly 'A fantastic book' Mariella Frostrup
On his way to a linguists' conference in Helsinki, Budai finds himself in a strange city where he can't understand a word anyone says. One claustrophobic day blurs into another as he desperately struggles to survive in this vastly overpopulated metropolis where there are as many languages as there are people. Fearing that his wife will have given him up for dead, he finds comfort in an unconventional relationship with the elevator-operator in the hotel. A suspenseful and haunting Hungarian classic, and a vision of hell unlike any other imagined. 'With time, Metropole will find its due place in the twentieth-century library, on the same shelf as The Trial and 1984.' G.O. Châteaureynaud 'In the same way that Kafka becomes relevant again every time you renew your driver's license, Karinthy captures that enduring, horrifying and exhilarating state of being at the mercy of an unfamiliar land.' NPR
Sex and Punishment tells the story of the struggle throughout millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behaviour: sex. From the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde for 'gross indecency' in 1895, Eric Berkowitz evokes the entire sweep of Western sex law. 'I don't think I've ever read such an entertaining historical work. Whether you want to fuel your indignation, or simply furnish yourself with enough jaw-dropping data to galvanise a hundred party conversations, you really must shell out for this book. It's worth every penny.' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 'A wonderful exposure of the illogicality of so much legislation that attempts to regulate sexual activity ... from the age of consent to adultery and sex on college campuses.' Mary Beard 'A fascinating and gruesomely compelling study of human sexuality' Mail on Sunday 'Eric Berkowitz's cross-examination of human sexuality is both exciting and impressively relentless.' Sunday Times 'Stimulating ... Berkowitz has achieved a perfect balance between case study and analysis, and between narrative and reflection. ... This is a wonderfully well-written, well-organised and accomplished book.' Sarah Wheeler, Literary Review The cast of Sex and Punishment is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes and London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged - and justice, as Berkowitz shows - rarely had anything to do with it.
Recovering the oft-neglected role of women in Ottoman high society and power politics, this book brings to life the women who made their mark in a male domain. Though historical records tend to favour the glitter of palaces over the trials of daily life, Goodwin also reconstructs ordinary women's domestic toil. As the Ottoman Empire first expanded and then shrank, women travelled its width and breadth whether out of necessity or merely for pleasure. Some women owned slaves while others suffered the misfortune of being enslaved. Goodwin examines the laws which governed women's lives from the harem to the humblest tasks. This perceptive study of Ottoman life culminates with the nineteenth century and explores the advent of modernity and its impact on women at a time of imperial decline. 'The best book on the subject and likely to remain so for some time.' Times Literary Supplement 'A fascinating account by the foremost authority on the Ottoman period.' The Middle East 'Goodwin is an exceptional scholar with an insight that reveals itself in every sentence.' Asian Affairs 'Offers excellent scholarship into a history that has been much neglected by the West.' Judaism Today
Oman today is a rapidly modernizing and peaceful country on the fringes of a region in turmoil. It does, however, have a long history of internal strife. In the twentieth century, this strife took the form of two internal conflicts. The Northern Oman or al-Jabal al-Akhdar War of the 1950s was a struggle between the forces of the old tribally based Imamate and the newer Sultanate in the northern part of the country. In the Dhufar War of the 1960s-70s an anti-Sultanate - and later Marxist - front sought secession in the south. J. E. Peterson takes a detailed look at these two wars in the context of insurgency and counter-insurgency warfare. He surveys Oman's transition from a strictly traditional regime controlling only parts of the country to a modern, inclusive state, particularly in terms of security concerns. Peterson analyses the development of the Sultanate's successful responses to security challenges, especially in the creation and evolution of modern armed forces. 'John Peterson provides the nearest we will perhaps ever see of an official history.' David Benest, The British Army Review 'Peterson does an excellent job of developing the thesis that victory in these counter-insurgencies resulted from the two factors of establishing political legitimacy by meeting the local demands of the population and military efforts, which succeeded largely through British support.' Calvin H. Allen Jr., Middle East Journal
European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common. For Arabs, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were years of strenuous efforts to repel a brutal and destructive invasion by barbarian hordes. Under Saladin, an unstoppable Muslim army inspired by prophets and poets finally succeeded in destroying the most powerful Crusader kingdoms. The memory of this greatest and most enduring victory ever won by a non-European society against the West still lives in the minds of millions of Arabs today. Amin Maalouf has sifted through the works of a score of contemporary Arab chroniclers of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants in the events. He retells their stories in their own vivacious style, giving us a vivid portrait of a society rent by internal conflicts and shaken by a traumatic encounter with an alien culture. He retraces two critical centuries of Middle Eastern history, and offers fascinating insights into some of the forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today. 'Well-researched and highly readable.' Guardian 'A useful and important analysis adding much to existing western histories ... worth recommending to George Bush.' London Review of Books 'Maalouf tells an inspiring story ... very readable ... warmly recommended.' Times Literary Supplement 'A wide readership should enjoy this vivid narrative of stirring events.' The Bookseller 'Very well done indeed ... Should be put in the hands of anyone who asks what lies behind the Middle East's present conflicts.' Middle East International
When protesters in Egypt began to fill Cairo's Tahrir Square on January 25, 2011 and refused to leave until their demand that Hosni Mubarak step down was met the politics of the region changed overnight. And the United States' long friendship with the man who had ruled under emergency law for thirty years came starkly into question. The Road to Tahrir Square is the first book to connect past and present from Franklin D. Roosevelt's brief meeting with King Farouk near the end of World War II, to Barack Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, and the recent fall of Mubarak offering readers an understanding of the events and forces determining American policy in this important region. Making full use of the available records, including the controversial WikiLeaks archive, renowned historian Lloyd C. Gardner shows how the United States has sought to influence Egypt through economic aid, massive military assistance, and CIA manipulations an effort that has immediate implications for how the current crisis will alter the balance of power in the Middle East. As millions around the world ponder how the Egyptian Revolution will change the face of the region and the world, here is both a fascinating story of past policies and an essential guide to possible futures. When it comes to understanding the tangle of contradictions addling present-day US policy in the Arab world, Lloyd Gardner has become our most astute guide. This compact, timely, and altogether admirable study is his best yet.' Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War This book is a clear, concise, and insightful account of Egypt's long decline, focusing on both the mistakes of its own leaders and the ignorant meddling of outside powers.' Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times correspondent and author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq