My Reading

October 29, 2009

There was little rhyme nor reason to my book buying before moving to the Middle East. My mind and reading were still rather engaged with Sudan, and so I tended to pick up whatever I spotted in second hand book shops – mostly the Oxfam in Crouch End. So my little bookshelf in my friend’s apartment is filled with the following books:

The Siege by Conor Cruise O’Brien

Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948 by Tanya Reinhart

Israel and Palestine by Bernard Wasserstein

What Went Wrong by Bernard Lewis 

Six Days in June: Israel’s Fight for Survival by Robert J Donovan and the staff of the Los Angeles Times 

These seem rather inadequate. And the holes are obvious. So what should I be reading? What are the best books to help me get up to speed on the Isreali-Palestinian conflict and the simmering tensions across the Middle East?


7 thoughts on “My Reading”

  1. mikewhills says:

    I really enjoyed Patrick Tyler’s recent book on the history of US involvement in the region, from Eisenhower to GWB: ‘A World of Trouble’. He gave his list of top 10 ‘eccentric’ Middle East books to The Guardian here:

  2. Rob Crilly says:

    Great list. Just the sort of thing I was looking for

  3. Brendan says:

    Although it’s seriously outdated by now, I enjoyed From Beiruit to Jerusalem…

  4. Mona says:

    For a general history, Albert Hourani’s A History of the Arab Peoples is a well-regarded standard.

  5. Rob Crilly says:

    These last two look great as well

  6. Sean Brooks says:

    Two great works by Benny Morris of the Israeli revisionist school: “Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001” and “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited.”
    Rashid Khalidi’s: “Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness.”
    And finally, if you can find it, “The Fall of Jerusalem” by Abdullah Schleifer.

  7. Reem Abbas says:

    hmmm.. I suggest Thomas Friedman , Schleifer (of course!) and blogs!

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