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Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945

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Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945. Second Edition. By Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe. Making of the Contemporary World, Series. (London & New York, Routledge: 2004. Pg. xvi, 152. Maps.) ISBN: 0-415-31787-8.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - April 21, 2004

The Middle East has seen almost continual conflict since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The nature and causes of the conflicts have varied, ranging from political and ethnic conflicts to economic and religious conflicts. In Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe provide a comprehensive and well-balanced overview on the conflicts that have occurred in the Middle East since the end of World War II. This second edition of this book has been revised to include information related to the events of 9-11, the second Gulf War, and the ongoing conflict in Iraq. The text is organized into ten chapters:
  1. The Arab-Israeli conflict: ways of war
  2. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict: hostages to history
  3. Superpower conflict in the Middle East: war by proxy
  4. Generation jihad: conflict in the name of Islam?
  5. Sectarian conflict: Lebanon, state without a nation
  6. Ethnic conflict: the forgotten Kurds
  7. War in the Gulf: Iran and Iraq 1980-1989
  8. The Kuwait crisis: brother versus brother
  9. The politics of conflict and failure of peacemaking
  10. After the storm
    This chapter includes information on al-Qaeda, Usama bin Laden, the September 11th attacks, the second Gulf War, and the global war on terrorism.
Current events have focused inordinate attention on the Middle East in recent years. Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 provides readers, both academic and non-academic, with a concise overview of the contentious history of the region and helps to put into context the reasons behind these ongoing conflicts. Their account of the wars of proxy, which have been fought in the Middle East, are important in helping to explain the prevalence of anti-Western attitudes, and the reasons why many Arabs view the Israelis as foreign intruders. In addition to the Palestinian and Arab conflicts with Israel, the authors also examine several significant ethnic and religious conflicts. For example the conflicts between the Shi'a and Sunni forms of Islam, conflicts involving the Kurds, and the civil war in Lebanon, in which the warring parties were divided along religious lines - namely Christian and Muslim.

The second edition of Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 provides a brief, yet a thorough overview of the issues related to the various military conflicts that have occurred, and are occurring, in the Middle East. This text provides an excellent introduction to the political and military implications of these events. It can serve as a supplemental textbook in undergraduate classes or as a general introduction to the subject for general readers. The text includes several useful maps of the region, and a glossary of terms, endnotes, and an up-to-date bibliography.

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