Veteran journalist and Ottoman historian Michael Rank brings you a concise history of 2,000 years of Middle Eastern war, peace, religious upstarts, and social breakdowns in this exciting new book.
To most Westerners the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear utterly bewildering. Palestinians want to bomb Israelis that force them at gunpoint to live in restricted parts of the country. Arab leaders are furious about this situation and want Israelis, 'wiped off the map' and their land given back to Palestinians, even though the real estate of the Holy Land looks something like rural Utah. And nearly all the world's leaders see fit to chime in on this dispute over the two tiny lands.
To untangle the modern Middle East conflict and the 2,000 years behind it, this book is divided into 25 concise chapters. Each one is devoted to a major theme in Middle East history, such as the beginning of Islam, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, and the beginning of Israel in 1948. They can be read in a few minutes, giving you a fast overview of the issues and help you to understand Middle East current events.
By the end you will know as much about Middle East history and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as you would after a year-long college course. You will also sound highly knowledgeable about world affairs to your friends and associates.
If you want to understand this part of the world completely in as short a time as possible, then From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa is for you!
©2012 Michael Rank (P)2013 Michael Rank
I appreciate this approach: I like to hear plenty of these short, summarizing audiobooks. I didn't feel it lived up to the publisher's summary ("By the end you will know as much about Middle East history and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as you would after a year-long college course"). That would be too much to expect, of course. But for slightly over 2 hours' length, I feel it was an alright introduction.
I would, as it's a good starting point to be able to get discussions moving - and it's so short!
Simply ease of understanding. Another review mentions that he sounds like a robot. I noticed this as well at the very beginning, but that seems to go away quickly (or at least becomes less noticeable).
Learning about the formation of modern Israel was very surprising. This books presents everything very even-handedly (from all that I can tell) and I plan on looking into this more.
Listened to it twice the day that I bought it, which really helped it sink in.
Retired interpreter living in NC
Good concise re telling of the basic history of Islam. Narration is clear and convincing . Recommend for people who want to know what all the fuss is about .
New headphones for Christmas 2011. The sound is so much better than before!
Yes. It's as clear and concise a work as any I have encountered for the 'non-expert' wanting to better understand what appears to be conflict without resolution. It's also an easy listen. I'm on my third and the historical context is starting to sink in a bit.
The chapter on Ghengis Khan, his Mongol horde and the strong possibility I might be a direct decendent! Seriously, I never realized the significance of Khan's conquests and his impact on world history.
The reading sounded much like a computer generated voice. It was clear and technically correct but the emphasis and intonation often sounds misplaced and uncomfortably artificial.
Interesting idea for this book. Dramatization of such a condensed history might make a compelling series.
I'm not sure if it is my own or the author's objectivity that influences this impression but I often felt in the reading as if there was sympathy for the underlying causes of Islamic extremism and hatred of Israel. Nothing wrong with that if true but then there was nothing in the book to influence me to that perspective. The author tells us Palestinians have failed to create a state for themselves for an even longer period of time than modern day Israel has existed. I know there is so much more to learn but this is something I find hard to understand. The book gave me what I was looking for and more. I plan to use each chapter as a jumping off point for deeper exploration and understanding.
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