The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader by Karl YambertThe Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader by Karl Yambert

The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader

byKarl Yambert

Paperback | November 1, 2012

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The Contemporary Middle East provides an accessible introduction to the region's most pressing concerns and enduring conflicts. It includes provocative contributions by an impressive array of leading scholars, journalists, and policy advisors. Contributors include notable academic authors Arthur Goldschmidt Jr., the late William L. Cleveland, Shibley Telhami, David W. Lesch, Bernard Reich, and Phebe Marr, complemented by selections from recent general-interest books by Marwan Bishara, Mark Perry, and Eugene Rogan, among others. With twelve new chapters, the third edition is a probing examination of the current affairs of the Middle East. Its multiple readings on strategic pairings of topics (Israel and the Palestinians, Iraq and Iran, Egypt and Syria) illuminate the region's key issues from a variety of perspectives. Part- and chapter-opening summaries help establish background and context, and a new concluding chapter by Shibley Telhami, written specifically for this volume, candidly addresses fundamental questions about the United States and the Middle East today. Student resources include an annotated table of contents, a select bibliography, a glossary, brief biographies of notable persons, a chronology, and a summary of recent events, in addition to numerous maps.
Karl Yambertreceived his PhD from the University of California, Davis, and is a former editor of Middle East Studies at Westview Press.
Title:The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview ReaderFormat:PaperbackDimensions:450 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:November 1, 2012Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813348390

ISBN - 13:9780813348391

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Table of Contents


1 The Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East
Colbert C. Held and John Thomas Cummings
Within its regional unity, the Middle East possesses great cultural diversity.
Differences of language, religion, and ethnicity create a complex mosaic of peoples.

2 The Roots of Arab Bitterness
Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. and Lawrence Davidson
Varieties of Arab nationalism all share a consistent distrust of the West, based
on bitter historical experience.

3 Islamist Perceptions of US Policy in the Middle East
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad
Islamism is a worldview in which the US support for Israel in particular is understood to be part of a larger Western effort to keep Muslim states weak and

4 Global Energy and the Middle East
Steve Yetiv
Access to Middle East oil will become even more critical as oil supplies dwindle, even as the region’s flow of oil is vulnerable to several sources of
major disruption.

5 New US Policies for a New Middle East?
William B. Quandt
The Bush administration’s ambitious plan to remake the Middle East fell short and left the United States facing many obstacles in pursuit of its goals in the region.

6 Cairo Speech
Barack Obama
President Obama seeks a “new beginning” by addressing sources of tension between
the United States and the Muslims of the world.


7 Israel and the Arabs, and Beyond
Robert O. Freedman
Israel has battled Arab states since its founding and now faces a threat beyond
the Arab world in Iran, which backs Hezbollah and Hamas, two militant enemies
of Israel.

8 The United States and Israel
Bernard Reich and Shannon Powers
Broad support of Israel by the United States is accompanied by disagreements
on many specifics of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

9 The Palestinians
Glenn E. Robinson
Contradictory promises to Jews and Palestinian Arabs set the stage for inevitable conflict following the 1948 establishment of Israel.

10 Sharon’s Fence
Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar
Ariel Sharon’s “security fence,” new settlements, and unilateral withdrawal from
Gaza were designed to deepen Israel’s hold on the West Bank.

11 Whither the Palestinians?
Samih K. Farsoun and Naseer H. Aruri
The millions of Palestinian refugees and their right to return are not always
represented by those Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.

12 Ethnicity and Nation-Building in the State of Israel
Calvin Goldscheider
Israel’s pluralistic society is shaped by Jewish communities outside the State of Israel as well as by Palestinians within territories administered by Israel.

13 Syria’s Threat to Israel
Hirsch Goodman
Syria’s threat to Israel consists chiefly in its serving as a conduit for Iranian aid to Hamas and Hezbollah.

14 The Iranian Nuclear Threat Against Israel
Steven R. David
Even given scenarios in which Iran might launch a nuclear attack against Israel,
or Israel might preemptively strike Iranian facilities, Israel will likely allow Iran to become a nuclear state.


15 Pashtunistan: Afghanistan, Pakistan—and Iraq
Stephen Tanner
America’s battle against the perpetrators of 9/11, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, was derailed by turning attention to Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

16 The Land and People of Modern Iraq
Phebe Marr
Iraq must contend with the separatist tendencies of Shiite Arabs and Sunni
Kurds, who were ruled until recently by a Sunni Arab minority.

17 Impacts of the Iraq War
James DeFronzo
The Iraq War damaged US moral standing internationally, strengthened Hamas and Hezbollah, and established a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government friendly to Iran.

18 America’s Troubled Moment in the Middle East
William L. Cleveland and Martin Bunton
In the aftermath of the Iraq War, the policies of Barack Obama toward Iraq and Iran have been surprisingly similar to the policies of George W. Bush.

19 Maliki Consolidates Power in Post-Saddam Iraq
Phebe Marr
Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki shored up his position by steering a secular, nationalist course rather than a sectarian one, and by negotiating America’s exit from Iraq.

20 The Iranian Revolution and Its Consequences
David W. Lesch
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 established a Shiite theocracy next door to
Saddam Hussein, prompting him to invade Iran and begin the eight-year-long
Iran-Iraq War.

21 Islamic Republic of Iran: Political Dynamics and Foreign Policy
Mark Gasiorowski
Iran’s political culture contains an undercurrent of distrust of foreigners even as Iranian moderates in particular occasionally reach out to the West.

22 Iran’s Regional Foreign Policy
Manochehr Dorraj
The US rebuff of Iran as a member of the “axis of evil” contributed to Iran’s
strengthened ties with Russia, China, Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

23 Iran, Israel, and the United States
Scott Ritter
The Israeli lobby influences US foreign policy to regard Iran as a regional
threat, but the United States would do better to normalize relations with Iran.

24 The Iranian Predicament
Michael Axworthy
The United States rejected Iran’s 2003 “Grand Bargain” that would have committed Iran to a two-state solution with Israel and to a peaceful nuclear program.


25 Islamists and Democracy: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
Marwan Bishara
The Muslim Brotherhood’s history of charitable work translates into strong party organization in post-Mubarak Egypt, even as traditionalists and radicals disagree over the Brotherhood’s course.

26 Talking to Terrorists: Hamas and Hezbollah
Mark Perry
Terrorist groups that participate in elections and governments and that have
constituencies to answer to, such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, can be negotiated with.


27 The Arab Spring, 2011
Eugene Rogan
The trajectories of the Arab Spring are followed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and
Yemen, where longtime rulers were ousted, and in Bahrain and Syria, whose regimes remain in power.

28 Egypt: Mubarak and After
Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.
After the end of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule, Egypt’s first-ever free national elections resulted in some major surprises.

29 Bashar al-Asad, Syria, and the Arab Spring
David W. Lesch
Despite warning signs, Bashar al-Asad of Syria did not expect the Arab Spring
to wash over his country, and he still brutally puts down what he considers to
be foreign-inspired uprisings.

30 The Arab World at the Intersection of the National and
the Transnational
James L. Gelvin
While certain transnational factors in common made Arab states vulnerable to
protest, national variations ensured that the Arab Spring would follow divergent


31 The Contemporary Middle East: Some Questions, Some Answers
Shibley Telhami
A noted authority addresses questions about Iraq, Iran, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Syria, and Egypt.

Editorial Reviews

“A very informative, readable, and thought-provoking edited volume that is valuable for students and the general public alike. Covering the major historical developments, the text presents an excellent description and explanation of the regional challenges ranging from economic growth to security and from political stability to energy consideration. This text is also empowered by useful supplements which add to its instructional significance.”—Houman A. Sadri, University of Central Florida“This volume brings together a range of views by influential scholars on the most enduring and important issues in Middle East affairs. The book is an excellent choice for college classes from the introductory through advanced levels.”—Weldon C. Matthews, Oakland University “Engages students with timely essays and sharpens critical thinking by presenting a variety of informed perspectives on key issues. Excellent for courses covering the recent history of the Middle East.”—Brock Ruggles, Arizona State University