Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa

Paperback | November 21, 2012

EditorAlan Mikhail

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From Morocco to Iran and the Black Sea to the Red, Water on Sand rewrites the history of the Middle East and North Africa from the Little Ice Age to the Cold War. As the first holistic environmental history of the region over the last half millennium, it shows the intimate connections betweenpeoples and environments and how these relationships shaped political, economic, and social history in startling and unforeseen ways. Nearly all political powers in the region based their rule on the management and control of natural resources, and nearly all individuals were in constant communionwith the natural world. To grasp how these multiple histories were central to the pasts of the Middle East and North Africa, the chapters in this book evidence the power of environmental history to open up new avenues of historical research and understanding.Water on Sand furthermore traces how the Middle East and North Africa deeply affected the global histories of climate, disease, trade, energy, environmental politics, ecological manipulation, and much more. Lying at the intersection of three continents and as many seas, the Middle East has obviouslybeen central to world history for millennia. Studying the ecological implications of these global connections, both for the region itself and for the rest of the world, helps to bring the Middle East and North Africa into global history and to show how the region must be an essential part of anyunderstanding of the environments of Eurasia over the last five hundred years.Deeply researched, globally comparative, and highly provocative, Water on Sand represents both a new kind of Middle Eastern history and a new kind of environmental history.

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From Morocco to Iran and the Black Sea to the Red, Water on Sand rewrites the history of the Middle East and North Africa from the Little Ice Age to the Cold War. As the first holistic environmental history of the region over the last half millennium, it shows the intimate connections betweenpeoples and environments and how these relat...

Alan Mikhail is Assistant Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History, which won the Roger Owen Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association and the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication from Yale University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 21, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199768668

ISBN - 13:9780199768660

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Table of Contents

ContributorsAlan Mikhail: Introduction - Middle East Environmental History: The Fallow between Two Fields1. J.R. McNeill: The Eccentricity of the Middle East and North Africa's Environmental History2. Richard W. Bulliet: History and Animal Energy in the Arid Zone3. Sam White: The Little Ice Age Crisis of the Ottoman Empire: A Conjuncture in Middle East Environmental History4. Suraiya Faroqhi: Fish and Fishermen in Ottoman Istanbul5. Alan Mikhail: Plague and Environment in Late Ottoman Egypt6. Arash Khazeni: Through an Ocean of Sand: Pastoralism and the Equestrian Culture of the Eurasian Steppe7. Diana K. Davis: Enclosing Nature in North Africa: National Parks and the Politics of Environmental History8. Nancy Reynolds: Building the Past: Rockscapes and the Aswan High Dam in Egypt9. Karim Makdisi: The Rise and Decline of Environmentalism in Lebanon10. Toby C. Jones: State of Nature: The Politics of Water in the Making of Saudi Arabia11. Jessica Barnes: Expanding the Nile's Watershed: The Science and Politics of Land Reclamation in EgyptBibliographyIndex