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History > Middle East

This is real Tehran: a city that is hidden from view and rarely written about, where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and subterfuge. It is a place where mullahs visit prostitutes, drug kingpins run crystal meth kitchens, surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is uploaded onto the Internet and sol... read more

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In Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood, celebrated young travelwriter-historian Justin Marozzi gives us a many-layered history of one of the world's truly great cities - both its spectacular golden ages and its terrible disasters. "Justin Marozzi is the most brilliant of the new generation of travelwriter-historians". (Sund... read more

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"The power of the people is stronger than the people in power." Social media allow ideas to be shared. They are places where people can unite, Revolutions can begin. A new type of Revolution -- Revolution 2.0 Wael Ghonim used to be a man unwilling to publicly criticise the Egyptian regime. Like many, he was silenced by the fe... read more

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Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the ... read more

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Jeremy Bowen has been the BBC's Middle East correspondent for twelve years and has been on the ground for them as the recent revolutions have swept through the region. Realising this as a game-changing moment in the history of the Middle East, The Arab Uprisings captures the thoughts and feelings of the people involved as the... read more

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For the past forty years the story of the Middle East has been simple. The news images flashing across our TV screens from the Middle East provoked anger, outrage and, sometimes military action from the international community. But now the handful of dictators who ruled over hundreds of millions of people with an iron fist ar... read more

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For troops in the desert, Cairo meant fleshpots or brass hats. For well-connected officers, it meant polo at the Gezira Club and drinks at Shepheard's. For the irregular warriors, Cairo was a city to throw legendary parties before the next mission behind enemy lines. For countless refugees, it was a stopping place in the long... read more

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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 Tu... read more

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Egypt is the most populous country in the world's most unstable region. It is the key to Middle East peace, the voice of the Arab world and the crossroads between Europe and Africa. Its historical and strategic importance is unparalleled. In short, Egypt matters. And the key to Egypt - its colourful past, chaotic present and ... read more

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The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, 'a sideshow of a sideshow'. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers ... read more

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This handy guide to Egyptian mythology explores how the ancient Nile-dwellers explained the world around them. It delves into the origins of life, the creation and evolution of the world, and the reigns of the gods on earth, before introducing us to the manifestations of Egypts deities in the natural environment; the inventiv... read more

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James Carroll tells the richly layered story of the city of Jerusalem and its extraordinary impact on human history and contemporary conflict. He shows how the seemingly never-ending conflicts within this city that is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews underscore an important point of history: religion and violence fuel ea... read more

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The acclaimed author of "Rubicon" and other superb works of popular history now produces a thrillingly panoramic (and incredibly timely) account of the rise of Islam. No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narrative... read more

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In the political unrest that has swept across the Arab region in 2011, all eyes have been on the streets and squares erupting in protest. But for the past four years, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home - in the sexual lives of men and women across the Arab world. The result is Sex and the Cit... read more

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A towering history of the first Afghan War by bestselling historian William Dalrymple.
In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and E... read more

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We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years. In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of... read more

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Author: William Dalrymple
Category:

 Middle East

Awards:Shortlisted for Samuel Johnson Prize 2013.

In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk. On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But... read more

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Mecca is the heart of Islam. It is the birthplace of Muhammad, the direction towards which Muslims turn when they pray and the site of pilgrimage which annually draws some three million Muslims from all corners of the world. Yet Mecca's importance goes beyond religion. What happens in Mecca and how Muslims think about the pol... read more

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