The Middle East in the 20th Century

Also see the Arab American Heritage webliography and our Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.


Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East. Reeva S. Simon, et al., editors. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, c1996.
4 volume set with articles on each country, on people, events, and on such topics as population growth, women, refugees, Zionism, Shari’a etc. Each article has its own bibliography. Includes maps, many statistical tables, genealogies.
The Middle East. Auriana Ojeda, editor. c2003.
A pro-con series of essays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Islam, and U.S. involvement in the region.
The Middle East and North Africa. London: Europa Publications, 2000.
Part of the excellent Regional Surveys of the World series, this features an overview of religious, political and economic issues; regional organizations; and surveys of each country. The country surveys have extensive summaries of each country’s recent history, as well as directories of officials, media, and political organizations. Includes many documents, statistics and demographics.
The Middle East. 9th edition. Washington, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 2000.
Handy overview of Middle Eastern history, with chapters on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Persian Gulf, Mideast oil, and the history of Islam. Profiles each country in the region, and includes major documents such as the Wye River memorandum and the various UN Security Council resolutions relevant to Israel and the Palestinians. Many maps and photos.
History in Dispute: The Middle East Since 1945. Detroit: St. James Press, c2004.
Series of pro/con essays by subject specialists on the Suez War, the Iranian Revolution, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Lebanon, the League of Arab States, etc.
Gorman, Robert F. Great Debates At The United Nations : An Encyclopedia Of Fifty Key Issues 1945-2000.

Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World.
Two volume overview of Islamic culture, history and theology; this is a great place to research the different Islamic schools of thought and their views on such issues as jihad, feminism, terrorism etc.
The Muslim Almanac.
One volume overvew of the contemporary Muslim world. Has some convenient features: the size, Muslim population and language of many countries; articles on such specific topics as Muslims in prison, Muslim legal thought.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Oxford.
Four volume, scholarly source, with long articles on individual countries, and such issues as terrorism, international relations, sexuality, etc.
Encylopedia of Conflicts Since World War II. James Ciment, editor.

Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy 2002. Alexander DeConde, Richard Dean Burns, editors.

Bacharach, Jere L. A Middle East Studies Handbook.
It’s old, but its detailed chronology, maps, calendar conversion for Western and Islamic dates, and tables of dynasties and political rulers make this indispensable.
Hitti, Philip Khuri. The Near East In History, A 5000 Year Story. Princeton, N.J., Van Nostrand 1961.
Great historical background on the region from ancient times through 1948.
Hiro, Dilip. The Essential Middle East : A Comprehensive Guide. New York: Carroll & Graf, c2003.

Hiro, Dilip. The Middle East . Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, c1996.

Hiro, Dilip. A Dictionary Of The Middle East. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
Hiro is a well-respected journalist with an expertise in Middle Eastern politics. These clearly written, informative guides are extremely useful for understanding the region.
The Founding Of The State Of Israel . Mitchell Bard, editor. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, c2003.
Collection of historical essays, op-eds, letters and other documents from major figures involved in the founding of Israel.
Reich, Bernard, Goldberg, David H. Political Dictionary Of Israel. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, c2000.
Comprehensive explanations of people, places, documents, concepts and events in Israeli history.
The Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians. Philip Mattar, editor. New York: Facts on File, 2000.
Excellent, well-researched one volume encyclopedia of Palestinian history, written by a team of specialists. Each article has a separate bibliography, and there's a lengthy annotated bibliography in the back. Has a chronology, glossary and index.
Oxford History Of Islam. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, c1999.
A comprehensive history of Islam: it's influence on theology, politics, art, science, culture and society. Chapters are arranged around broad themes and written by subject specialists; each has its own extensive bibliographic essay.
Dawson, Lawrence. Islamic Fundamentalism. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, c1998.
Overview of fundamentalism in its historical context, Has hsort biographies of major figures; primary documents.
Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamentalist Movements in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, c1999.
Alphabetical entries on major movements, groups, individuals, and philosophies related to Islamic fundamentalism.
Roleff, Tamara. The World Trade Center Attack. Greenhaven Press, 2003.
The Western world's response versus the Arab world’s response. Includes appendix, "The Evidence Against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda".
The Terrorist Attack On America. Mary E. Williams, editor. San Diego: Greenhaven, c2003.
Similar series of essays on the causes of the September 11th attack.
Who’s Who In The Arab World. Beirut: Publitec Editions, 2003.
Directory of contemporary Arab politicians, business executives, artists, etc.
American Jewish Yearbook. Philadelphia : American Jewish Committee 1977-2001.
Annual publication addressing Jewish concerns. Each volume has a section on events in Israel.
Gilbert, Martin. Atlas of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Black and white maps offer a visual history of the conflict, from 1000 B.C.E. to 1993.

Goldscheider, Calvin. Cultures in conflict : the Arab-Israeli conflict..
Collection of essays, interviews, and documents, including statements from a variety of Palestinians and Israelis.
Bankston, Carl L. III. World conflicts : Asia and the Middle East.

Century Of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts And Critical Views. 1997.



The Middle East in the 20th Century: Web Sites

Academic Infonet Guide to Middle Eastern Studies
Best place to start on the web. Links to official United Nations, Palestinian National Authority, Israeli and US sites; continuously updated news items and commentaries.
United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine
Contains all the UN documentation and position papers.
Jewish Virtual Library - Israel
Published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Exchange, a good site for the Israeli viewpoint on Middle Eastern history and current events.
Bitter Lemons
Great way to find well-written Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints. Weekly service presenting essays from both sides on current developments in the conflict. Can subscribe by email for free.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
The official U.S. view and positions. Profiles each country and its relations with the U.S.; many documents on the Middle East peace process and the "road map.."
Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebooks

Succinct, well-organized overviews of historical topics, with links to other informative sites of interest:

MidEast Web
History, comprehensive document collection, maps, dialogues.
Electronic Intifada.
Pro-Palestinian news commentary and analysis.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Pro-Israeli news commentary and analysis.
National Public Radio's "The Middle East: a Century of Conflict"
Transcripts and RealAudio of NPR's series on the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Includes, maps, a timeline, and biographies of key figures.
Middle East Maps from the Perry-Castaneda collection
One of the best free online map collections available. Has both historic and contemporary maps of the region and the various conflicts.
Official Statistics on the Web
Great way to research foreign aid, demographics, arms shipments etc. Can search by region country or topic.
University of Michigan Documents Center- Middle East Conflict Syllabus
Links to documents, statistics, treaties etc. from Middle Eastern government sites, international agencies, and the UN; bibliographies, journal articles, and Middle Eastern news sources.
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