Over the centuries the Middle East has confounded the dreams of conquerors and peacemakers alike. This now-classic book, fully updated to 2009, follows the historic struggles of the region over the last two hundred years, from Napoleon's assault on Egypt, through the slow decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the painful emergence of modern nations, the Palestinian question and Islamic resurgence.
For this third edition, Economist journalist and Middle East correspondent Nicolas Pelham has written an extensive new chapter examining recent developments throughout the Middle East, including the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in Iran, the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict and relations with the US under President Obama.
Peter Mansfield was born in 1928 in India. In 1955 he joined the British Foreign Office and went to Lebanon to study Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies. From 1961 to 1967 he was the Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Times. He became one of Britain's foremost experts on the region. Peter Mansfield died in 1996.
Nicolas Pelham is The Economist's Middle East correspondent. He began working in Cairo as editor of the Middle East Times and since then has spent 30 years studying, travelling and writing in the region. He has worked for the BBC Arabic Service and Financial Times and writes for The New York Review of Books. He is the author of A New Muslim Order (2008) and Holy Lands (2016) which explores the region's pluralist past. Taking occasional breaks from journalism, he has worked as a Middle East analyst for the International Crisis Group, the United Nations and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In 2017 he won the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Journalism.