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Book on Middle East (requests please!)


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Looking for an apolitical, high level book about the transition from Ottoman Empire (I believe this is when it should approximately start) to more present day Middle East.  Recommendations please - not a topic I have dived much into

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This is a very interesting topic. Here are a few suggestions. I have some notes (including mental ones) so don't hesitate if you have specific questions.

1-A Peace to End all Peace, D. Fromkin.

If you're into proximate causes, this is a British-focused perspective on the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the "Mandate".

2-A History of the Modern Middle East, W. Cleveland and M. Bunton.

This is more "textbook" but my 2009 edition has 641 pages. It's quite balanced despite the explosive nature of the topic and covers the period from the Ottoman transition up to relatively recent events. Inevitably, there is a political component but it's included in a constructive way (IMO).


This is a book i read recently after a recommendation on this Board. Given the importance of oil in the region, the book sections on the post WW1 and WW2 Middle East situation is a nice complement to general history.

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I am huge history buff. Been reading all kinds.


On Ottoman Empire, a great overview of is written by Lord Kinross. It is called Ottoman Centuries.

Somehow he packs 700 years of history in one book.


Also I very much loved the work by Roger Crowley.

It is so well written and captivating.

He has 4 books, all around the theme of Mediterranean  empires.


1- empires of the sea.  It focuses on ottoman naval engagement with Europe during sultan suleiman reign

2 - he has a book just on the fall of Constantinople

3 - not related to Turkey, his work on the Portuguese empire in India is a must read

4- city of fortune: it covers Venice commercial empire.


Lastly, Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece Decline and Fall of Roman Empire covers the early Turkish empires extensively in the latter twilight years of bizantium.


I should add that I am reading a book called House of Saud by Robert Larcy.

Man, that guy knows who to write. Amazing.


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Thank you Cigarbutt and Xerxes for the recommendations - they fit the bill perfectly.


The time period surrounding WW1 has particularly intrigued me recently and I am going to start off with A Peace to End All Peace.  Additionally, it is offered as an audiobook which is very helpful given 1) lots of audio book time with a newborn and 2) accents/characters are often fantastic with these types of books.


I had not come across Roger Crowley but his catalogue covers many interesting topics I know very little about.  Saved for later.


Thanks again!

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