Did you know that the US actually had political dealings with the Middle East before 9/11? Do you need a five minute explanation on what exactly the word "history" means? Do you have such a narrow view on Arabic human beings that you need to be told that Arabs were most certainly NOT barbarians? Do you know that the Middle East has a rich history of art and culture? Do you know what algebra is? Are you aware that the Crusades were really kinda bad?
Oh, you're a functional adult who doesn't need to be spoken to like a fourth grader? Than this book isn't for you.
I'm not even one third through and I'm furious. This is a college level textbook? This is how textbook writers communicate to adults? This speaks a lot about higher education's view on their students' intelligence. I don't need to be told that camels actually DON'T carry water in their humps, contrary to what I read in last week's Sunday comics while my mom cut the crust off my peanut butter sandwich. And because I'm older than ten, I'm well aware than the US has had diplomatic relations with several Mideast countries for decades.
The actual history provided in the book was consistent. That is the descriptions of who did what and when, and the varying views of what motivated these act.
As the book gets closer to the present day, he adds his opinion as to the validity of those motives. In reviewing history through reading several authors, the reader should form his own opinion.
Having read several accounts of Middle Eastern history, I strongly disagree with the opinions that the author expresses in the last 50 - 75 years of this particular rendition. He seems to approach the overruning of Persia, Mesopotamia, and the Fertile Crescent by the Arabian Muslims, the Mongols, and the Turks without any comment or oppinion. But when it comes to the comparatively peaceful influences of the British, French and Americans he expresses an excessively negative view.
You might find a more balanced version of the last 100 years in another book, "Destiny Disrupted", by an Afgan born Muslem named Tamim Ansary. At least Mr. Ansary has enough respect for his readers to leave out the opinion.
If I were selecting text books, Mr. Ansay would certainly be my choice. We should be teaching our students "how", not "what" to think.
The story was fine. The opinion should be left out of a History text.
The authors appear to have written this is a textbook for college students, but I don't know any college students -- or high school students or even middle school students -- who enjoy being talked down to.
I applaud the authors' desire to get readers to be more open minded about the Middle East, but I think the wrong way to go about it is to say
I admit that I do get a lot of "duds" on audible: Books that seem promising but never deliver. This is not one! Almost like a textbook, it really moves fast. Some people who are not familiar with the area will have to rewind quite a bit like I did, but it's worth it.
As for those who say it is too "liberal" or too "pro islam or arab" I say that I'm glad to see a counterweight to the "pro american/Israeli" perspective we see so often in the mainstream media. We need to pay more attention to this part of the world if we are ever going to be the super power we claim to be.
I believed I was purchasing a "history of the middle east." Instead, the book is simply an explanation of Islam. I admonish Audible to be more careful in how its promoted works are advertised. I had trusted works would be accurately represented. I will be more careful next time.
I felt that a good deal of the book was the author saying which chapter more details are located. For example "I will talk more about this or that on this chapter" and "as you may recall in chapter bla bla bla". There was so much of this going on that I had to stop listening to it.
I finally did manage to get myself to finish the book. It's a good primer for middle east history, which is what I was looking for. However, I would like it told more as a fluid story, not like a text book telling you to turn in this or that chapter.
Extremely informative and interesting history most are completely unaware of.
An unbiased and unprejudiced review that is fair and accurate.
Had to split it up a bit, and re-listen several times.
Well, concise means a lot of information in few words, and that's what this book is. For a book this short to cover the entire Middle East, multiple nations, and it's rich history, you get a concise overview of the Middle East. Many chapters (or sections) that cover just a little bit of information about a particular subject. It reads like a High School text book, an introduction to Middle East History. If you are looking for a very general overview of this part of the world before you dive into a book about The Ottoman Empire, Arab/Israeli conflict, or western influence in the Middle East, this will work. You won't learn a lot about anything, but you will learn a little about everything (in the Middle East). Enjoy.
Say something about yourself!
Reflecting on the relationship our country holds with third world countries. I felt I was not educated enough. The first 3 or 4 hours are terrible, rolling through dates and people, very hard to follow. It gets very interesting around the 1st world war. I now have a better perspective on how the countries of the middle east were created and some of the issues the people have with the west and Israel. My feelings are bitterness, oil, suez canal, and religion have cost the area any stability and a unclear future. Listen to this if you are looking for a starting point to the middle east, but with a grain of salt.
I have not read the print version.
Overall the book was very informative about the transformative gyrations in the lands and peoples of the region. It was good to learn a bit about the nature and mindset of the peoples of the region and how they impact the world at large. I have come to the belief, however, that the authors seem somewhat biased in favor of Muslims. Atrocities conducted by Muslims were largely glossed over or presented as a matter of course, whereas atrocities perpetrated by non-Muslim peoples were presented as gross failures of culture, morality, and ideology; especially anything Isreali in nature.