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As the editor notes in his introduction to this collection, the events of 2001 and after have created intense interest in the Crusades and the conflict between Christianity and Islam and the West in the Middle Ages. A wealth of publications has appeared from popular histories to detailed articles in academic journals.
Whom would one choose as a companion to Byzantium? Many might ask for Michael Psellos, the 11th-century polymath who appears in nine of this volume's 27 chapters. A measure of the distance Byzantine studies has travelled in recent decades, but also of how far it has still to go, is the publication of editions and translations of Psellos' many surviving works.
This is the book about German Orientalism I felt I could not and did not want to write, and I am very grateful to Ian Almond for having produced it.
I first came into contact with Jo Laycock’s Imagining Armenia when I received the Manchester University Press catalogue and found it listed on the page after my book.
If one looks today at a satellite image of Manama (1), the capital city of Bahrain, the picture of the extended urban conurbation which covers both the north of the main island and the little island which faces it (Muharraq, the former capital of the emirate in the 19th century) is rather different from the ‘Islands of Paradise’ featured in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic
David Cesarani’s stylish book unravels the often sordid details of what might at first seem a relatively minor incident in the decline and collapse of British rule in Palestine.
The Urban Social History of the Middle East, 1750–1950 is an ambitious attempt to write a comprehensive account of 200 years of Middle East history from a social history perspective.
Agatha Christie’s 1970 novel Passenger to Frankfurt might seem like an unusual place to start a history of the Children’s Crusade in 1212. To capture the radical youth-culture of the 1960s lying at the heart of her plot, Christie invoked the Children’s Crusade as a familiar symbol of misguided and ultimately dangerous youthful folly.
The intention of this book is to ‘retell’ the history of the Middle East through ‘the medium of individuals’ (p. 18). But not any individuals, only those in the ‘Middle East kingmaking business’ (p. 158). None of the thirteen men, ten British and three American, and two women, both British, who feature most prominently in this nicely produced volume ‘attained the summit of national power’ (p.