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Written by one of Israel's most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to the present day. Anita Shapira's gripping narrative explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation-building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs and literature bring a human dimension to the story of Israel, from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decades of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture. Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel and the Middle East. ISRAEL: A HISTORY will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.
Japan is one of the world's most important societies, yet remains one of the least understood. This book is designed to fill the gap for a concise but thought-provoking introduction to all aspects of the country's political, economic and social life set in a clear historical context. The author's starting-point is that the study of Japan is 'contested territory' where even such apparently simple questions such as 'Who is in charge?' spark considerable disagreement and controversy among experts. To understand contemporary Japan, Duncan McCargo argues, it is necessary to get to grips with a range of different perspectives on Japanese political and social structures. Integrating contrasting perspectives throughout, the core chapters of the book focus on the changing economy, government and politics, society and culture, and Japan's place in the wider world. The new third edition of this popular text has been fully revised and updated throughout to cover key developments such as the historic end of LDP rule in 2009. This accessible and lively book will be essential reading both for students and general readers who want to know more about this important country.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE The extraordinary and essential story of how China became the powerful country it is today. Even at the high noon of Europe's empires China managed to be one of the handful of countries not to succumb. Invaded, humiliated and looted, China nonetheless kept its sovereignty. Robert Bickers' major new book is the first to describe fully what has proved to be one of the modern era's most important stories: the long, often agonising process by which the Chinese had by the end of the 20th century regained control of their own country. Out of China uses a brilliant array of unusual, strange and vivid sources to recreate a now fantastically remote world: the corrupt, lurid modernity of pre-War Shanghai, the often tiny patches of 'extra-territorial' land controlled by European powers (one of which, unnoticed, had mostly toppled into a river), the entrepots of Hong Kong and Macao, and the myriad means, through armed threats, technology and legal chicanery, by which China was kept subservient. Today Chinese nationalism stays firmly rooted in memories of its degraded past - the quest for self-sufficiency, a determination both to assert China's standing in the world and its outstanding territorial claims, and never to be vulnerable to renewed attack. History matters deeply to Beijing's current rulers - and Out of China explains why.
By the time of his death in 2009, the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri was lauded as the spiritual leader of the Green movement in Iran. Since the 1960s, when he supported Ayatollah Khomeini's opposition to the Shah, Montazeri's life reflected the crucial political shifts within Iran. In this book, Sussan Siavoshi presents the historical context as well as Montazeri's own political and intellectual journey. Siavoshi highlights how Montazeri, originally a student of Khomeini became one of the key figures during the revolution of 1978-9. She furthermore analyses his subsequent writings, explaining how he went from trusted advisor to and nominated successor of Khomeini to an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic. Examining Montazeri's political thought and practice as well as the historical context, Siavoshi's book is vital for those interested in post-revolutionary Iran and the phenomenon of political Islam.
In no nation on earth has history accelerated with such speed as in Korea. A medieval dynasty at the end of the 19th century, it underwent a traumatic colonization, then, in its hour of liberation was divided by the great powers at the end of World War II. Devastated by a fratricidal war, the peninsula has remained divided ever since. South Korea is the greatest national success story of the 20th century. From the ashes of war, it transformed itself, against the odds - and against much advice - into an industrial powerhouse and thriving democracy. Now a high-tech wonderland, it is undergoing social and cultural transformations that add further layers to its dynamic DNA. North Korea is an economic, social and political disaster, successful only at totalitarianism. Having transmogrified from a blood-and-iron communist dictatorship into a bizarre, neo-fascist monarchy, it is a black hole at the heart of Asia. Engulfed by paranoia, the regime presides over a malnourished populace, a 1.1 million man army and a nuclear arsenal. From nuclear missiles to Samsung smartphones; from assassins to salarymen; from Kim Il-sung to Psy; this is the extraordinary story of the flashpoint peninsula that dominates talk in boardrooms and newsrooms. Korea, the author argues, provides two stark benchmarks for national development: Epic success and catastrophic failure. And its final chapter has yet to be written.
SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BRITISH ARMY MILITARY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 'Truly essential' Simon Sebag Montefiore The final destruction of the Ottoman Empire - one of the great epics of the First World War, from bestselling historian Eugene Rogan For some four centuries the Ottoman Empire had been one of the most powerful states in Europe as well as ruler of the Middle East. By 1914 it had been drastically weakened and circled by numerous predators waiting to finish it off. Following the Ottoman decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers the British, French and Russians hatched a plan to finish the Ottomans off: an ambitious and unprecedented invasion of Gallipoli... Eugene Rogan's remarkable book recreates one of the most important but poorly understood fronts of the First World War. Despite fighting back with great skill and ferocity against the Allied onslaught and humiliating the British both at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia (Iraq), the Ottomans were ultimately defeated, clearing the way for the making, for better or worse, of a new Middle East which has endured to the present.
Sufism and Early Islamic Piety: Personal and Communal Dynamics offers a new story about the formative period of Sufism. Through a fresh reading of diverse Sufi and non-Sufi sources, Arin Shawkat Salamah-Qudsi reveals the complexity of personal and communal aspects of Sufi piety in the period between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. Her study also sheds light on the interrelationships and conflicts of early Sufis through emphasising that early Sufism was neither a quietist or a completely individual mode of piety. Salamah-Qudsi reveals how the early Sufis' commitment to the Islamic ideal of family life lead to different creative arrangements among them in order to avoid contradictions with this ideal and the mystical ideal of solitary life. Her book enables a deeper understanding of the development of Sufism in light of the human concerns and motivations of its founders.
When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they promised to 'turn society upside down'. Efforts to build a communist society created hopes and dreams, coupled with fear and disillusionment. The Chinese people made great efforts towards modernization and social change in this period of transition, but they also experienced traumatic setbacks. Covering the period 1949 to 1976 and then tracing the legacy of the Mao era through the 1980s, Felix Wemheuer focuses on questions of class, gender, ethnicity, and the urban-rural divide in this new social history of Maoist China. He analyzes the experiences of a range of social groups under Communist rule - workers, peasants, local cadres, intellectuals, 'ethnic minorities', the old elites, men and women. To understand this tumultuous period, he argues, we must recognize the many complex challenges facing the People's Republic. But we must not lose sight of the human suffering and political terror that, for many now ageing quietly across China, remain the period's abiding memory.
So what's so significant about the Byzantine Empire? Now recognised as having had a considerable influence on the Renaissance and a significant impact in the shaping modern Europe, modern historians are also increasingly acknowledging the role of the Byzantine Empire in the development of both Islam and Christianity, and the relationship between the two. The term 'Byzantine' derives from the ancient Greek city of Byzantium founded in 667 BC by colonists from Megara. It was named in honour of their leader Byzas. It later became better known as Constantinople, a gateway between West and East that played a crucial role in the transmission of Christianity to the West. The Byzantine Empire was often at the centre of profound geopolitical, cultural and religious forces that threatened to pull it apart. When Byzantine forces suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert for example, appeals to the West precipitated the First Crusade. In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, Constantinople was even conquered by the Crusader army! The dramatic siege and subsequent fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire is often seen as marking the end of the medieval period. The Byzantine Empire lasted for over a thousand years, created remarkable art and architecture and a lasting cultural and religious legacy that still has significance today.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami was a key figure in
the Camp David negotiations and many other rounds of peace talks,
public and secret, with Palestinian and Arab officials. Here he
offers an unflinching account of the Arab-Israeli conflict,
informed by his firsthand knowledge of the major characters and
Set during the height of World War I in January 1918, Goshawk Squadron follows the misfortunes of a British flight squadron on the Western Front. For Stanley Woolley, commanding officer of Goshawk Squadron, the romance of chivalry in the clouds is just a myth. The code he drums into his men is simple and savage: shoot the enemy in the back before he knows you're there. Even so, he believes the whole squadron will be dead within three months. A monumental work at the time of its original release, Booker-shortlisted Goshawk Squadron is now viewed as a classic in the mode of Catch 22. Wry, brutal, cynical and hilarious, the men of Robinson's squadron are themselves an embodiment of the maddening contradictions of war: as much a refined troop of British gentleman as they are a viscous band of brothers hell-bent on staying alive and winning the war.
If we think there is a fast solution to changing the governance of Iraq, warned U.S. Marine General Anthony Zinni in the months before the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, "then we don't understand history." Never has the old line about those who fail to understand the past being condemned to repeat it seemed more urgently relevant than in Iraq today, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Iraqi people, the Middle East region, and the world. Examining the construction of the modern state of Iraq under the auspices of the British empire -- the first attempt by a Western power to remake Mesopotamia in its own image -- renowned Iraq expert Toby Dodge uncovers a series of shocking parallels between the policies of a declining British empire and those of the current American administration.
Between 1920 and 1932, Britain endeavored unsuccessfully to create a modern democratic state from three former provinces of the Ottoman Empire, which it had conquered and occupied during the First World War. Caught between the conflicting imperatives of controlling a region of great strategic importance (Iraq straddled the land and air route between British India and the Mediterranean) and reconstituting international order through the liberal ideal of modern state sovereignty under the League of Nations Mandate system, British administrators undertook an extremely difficult task. To compound matters, they did so without the benefit of detailed information about the people and society they sought to remake. Blinded by potent cultural stereotypes and subject to mounting pressures from home, these administrators found themselves increasingly dependent on a mediating class of shaikhs to whom they transferred considerable power and on whom they relied for the maintenance of order. When order broke down, as it routinely did, the British turned to the airplane. (This was Winston Churchill's lasting contribution to the British enterprise in Iraq: the concerted use of air power -- of what would in a later context be called "shock and awe" -- to terrorize and subdue dissident factions of the Iraqi people.)
Ultimately, Dodge shows, the state the British created held all the seeds of a violent, corrupt, and relentlessly oppressive future for the Iraqi people, one that has continued to unfold. Like the British empire eight decades before, the United States and Britain have taken upon themselves today the grand task of transforming Iraq and, by extension, the political landscape of the Middle East. Dodge contends that this effort can succeed only with a combination of experienced local knowledge, significant deployment of financial and human resources, and resolute staying power. Already, he suggests, ominous signs point to a repetition of the sequence of events that led to the long nightmare of Saddam Hussein's murderous tyranny.
Building the Nation draws from foreign-policy reports and interviews with U.S. military officers to investigate recent U.S.-led efforts to "nation build" in Iraq and Afghanistan. Heather Selma Gregg argues that efforts to nation build in both countries mistakenly focused more on what should be called state building, or how to establish a government, rule of law, security forces, and a viable economy. Considerably less attention was paid to what might truly be called nation building - the process of developing a sense of shared identity, purpose, and destiny among a population within a state's borders and popular support for the state and its government. According to Gregg, efforts to stabilize states in the modern world require two key factors largely overlooked in Iraq and Afghanistan: popular involvement in the process of rebuilding the state that gives the population ownership of the process and its results and efforts to foster and strengthen national unity. Gregg offers a hypothetical look at how the United States and its allies could have used a population-centric approach to build viable states in Iraq and Afghanistan, focusing on initiatives that would have given the population buy-in and agency. Moving forward, Gregg proposes a six-step program for state and nation building in the twenty-first century, stressing that these efforts are as much about how state building is done as they are about specific goals or programs.
This text retells the story of a brotherhood of young men who together laid claim to one of the most notorious frontiers in the world: India's north-west frontier, which in the late 1990s forms the volatile boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Known collectively as Henry Lawrence's Young Men, each had distinguished himself in the East India Company's wars in the Punjab in the 1840s before going out to carve out names for themselves as politicals on the frontier. Drawing extensively on the men's diaries, journals and letters, Charles Allen weaves the individual stories of these Soldier Sahibs together with the tale of how they came together to save British India, ending climatically on Delhi Ridge in 1857.
Japan's U.S.-imposed postwar constitution renounced the use of offensive military force, but, as Sheila Smith shows, a nuclear North Korea and an increasingly assertive China have the Japanese rethinking that commitment, and their reliance on United States security. Japan has one of Asia's most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. Yet a fundamental shift in East Asian geopolitics has forced Japan to rethink the commitment to pacifism it made during the U.S. occupation. It has increasingly flexed its muscles-deploying troops under UN auspices, participating in coercive sanctions, augmenting surveillance capabilities, and raising defense budgets. Article Nine of Japan's constitution, drafted by U.S. authorities in 1946, claims that the Japanese people "forever renounce the use of force as a means of settling international disputes." When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke this taboo by advocating revision of Article Nine, public outcry was surprisingly muted. The military, once feared as a security liability, now appears to be an indispensable asset, called upon with increasing frequency and given a seat at the policymaking table. In Japan Rearmed Sheila Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo's political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation's military for war.
An investigation into the real historical figure of King David and the real location of the Temple of Solomon During the last two centuries, thousands of ancient documents from different sites in the Middle East have been uncovered. However, no archaeological discovery speaks of King David or Solomon, his son and successor, directly or in directly. Was King David a real person or a legend like King Arthur? Proposing that David was a genuine historical figure, Ahmed Osman explores how his identity may be radically different than what is described in religious texts. Drawing on recent archaeological, historical, and biblical evidence from Egypt, Osman shows that David lived in Thebes, Egypt, rather than Jerusalem; that he lived five centuries earlier than previously thought, during the 15th rather than the 10th century B.C.; and that David was not a descendant of Isaac but was, in fact, Isaac's father. The author also reveals David's true Egyptian identity: Pharaoh Tuthmosis III of the 18th Dynasty. Confirming evidence from rabbinic literature that indicates Isaac was not Abraham's son, despite the version provided in Genesis, Osman demonstrates how biblical narrators replaced David with Abraham the Hebrew to hide the Egyptian identity of Isaac's father. He shows how Egyptian historical and archaeological sources depict figures that match David's and Solomon's known characteristics in many ways, including accounts of a great empire between the Euphrates and the Nile that corresponds with David's empire as described in the Bible. Unveiling the real history behind the biblical story of King David, Osman reveals that the great ancestor of the Israelites was, in fact, Egyptian.
Over the six-month period from late 2012 to early 2013, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, Chair of the Central Military Commission, and Party Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), will relinquish at least two of his three positions. According to the constitution of the CCP, his time as Party head will come to an end, given that he has already served for two terms. Well over the supposed retirement age of 68, he will have to hand over the leadership of China to a new generation of leaders at the 18th Party Congress in Beijing. In Chinese politics, the act of retirement is surprisingly difficult, but Hu Jintao is widely known for his reserve and reticence; there is little doubt that he could disappear into a quiet and anonymous retirement if he so desires.This timely volume thus aims to provide an analytical assessment of Hu's period in charge of the world's most populous country. It concentrates briefly on his early life and entry into politics, then considers and evaluates his stewardship of the economy and of international affairs, as well as his ideological contribution and leadership of the communist party. In the process, the reader will also be afforded a broad overview of China's rapid developments over the last decade, since 2002.
'The least well-known wonderful writer I've ever come across' - Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour 'Alexievich's artistry has raised oral history to a totally different dimension' - Antony Beevor Haunting stories from the Soviet-Afghan War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature - A new translation based on the revised text - From 1979 to 1989 Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed thousands of casualties on both sides. While the Soviet Union talked about a 'peace-keeping' mission, the dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins. Boys in Zinc presents the honest testimonies of soldiers, doctors and nurses, mothers, wives and siblings who describe the lasting effects of war. Weaving together their stories, Svetlana Alexievich shows us the truth of the Soviet-Afghan conflict: the killing and the beauty of small everyday moments, the shame of returned veterans, the worries of all those left behind. When it was first published in the USSR in 1991, Boys in Zinc sparked huge controversy for its unflinching, harrowing insight into the realities of war.
Discussions of the Arab world, particularly the Gulf States, increasingly focus on sectarianism and autocratic rule. These features are often attributed to the dominance of monarchs, Islamists, oil, and ‘ancient hatreds’. To understand their rise, however, one has to turn to a largely forgotten but decisive episode with far-reaching repercussions – Bahrain under British colonial rule in the early twentieth century.
Drawing on a wealth of previously unexamined Arabic literature as well as British archives, Omar AlShehabi details how sectarianism emerged as a modern phenomenon in Bahrain. He shows how absolutist rule was born in the Gulf, under the tutelage of the British Raj, to counter nationalist and anti-colonial movements tied to the al-Nahda renaissance in the wider Arab world. A groundbreaking work, Contested Modernity challenges us to reconsider not only how we see the Gulf but the Middle East as a whole.
"Choice" Outstanding Academic Title 2003
"Schrijvers' book is a valuable addition ot the literature on
the war in the Pacific."
"Schrijvers builds upon earlier works and successfully goes
beyond them to provide a scholarly account of the full range of
American experiences in the Pacific and Asian theatres. He makes
excellent use of diaries, letters, training manuals, and official
reports. The book is an impressive scholarly achievement.
Schrijvers's vivid portrayal of the American experience in the war
against Japan permits us to see that experience in a broader
historical context and reveals patterns of thought and action that
are enduring features of the American character."
"One cannot read this volume without coming away with a fresh
way of thinking about the subject. Peter Schrijvers has broadened
our perspective of the sociology of the American fighting man in
the Second World War."
"This terrifying, remarkable work examines the attitudes,
perceptions, and behavior of U.S. fighting men in the Pacific
theatre. . . . Among the most unsettling books I've read in
"Schrijvers's linking of that frustration to the massive
destruction unleashed by American armed forces in the Pacific War
"A rich and compelling cultural and social history of American
servicemen and -women serving in Asia and the Pacific during World
"Just when it appeared that little remained to be said about the
Pacific War, Schrijvers produces the best social history of the
conflict to date...This is an important book, not only about WWII
but also about the nature of war itself...Highly
Even in the midst of World War II, Americans could not help thinking of the lands across the Pacific as a continuation of the American Western frontier. But this perception only heightened American soldiers' frustration as the hostile region ferociously resisted their attempts at control.
The GI War Against Japan recounts the harrowing experiences of American soldiers in Asia and the Pacific. Based on countless diaries and letters, it sweeps across the battlefields, from the early desperate stand at Guadalcanal to the tragic sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis at war's very end. From the daunting spaces of the China-India theater to the fortress islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Schrijvers brings to life the GIs' struggle with suffocating wilderness, devastating diseases, and Japanese soldiers who preferred death over life. Amidst the frustration and despair of this war, American soldiers abandoned themselves to an escalating rage that presaged Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The GI's story is, first and foremost, the story of America's resounding victory over Japan. At the same time, however, the reader will recognize in the extraordinarily high price paid for this victory chilling forebodings of the West's ultimate defeat in Asia--and America's in Vietnam.
Selected essays by notable scholars that address practical issues of concern and offer possible solutions regarding future peace in Jerusalem. Many of the perspectives in these essays are unique and have never been published for a wider audience. Contributors consider aspects of the "politics of religion" - an issue rarely explored objectively in existing literature. Other articles propose ways of mediating the challenges of Jerusalem. In covering a range of crucial subjects, the book will appeal to Jewish and Christian audiences alike. Other primary readers include Middle East and law scholars.
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