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Parting The Desert

Author: Zachary Karabell
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307566072
Size: 79.18 MB
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Award-winning historian Zachary Karabell tells the epic story of the greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century--the building of the Suez Canal-- and shows how it changed the world. The dream was a waterway that would unite the East and the West, and the ambitious, energetic French diplomat and entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps was the mastermind behind the project. Lesseps saw the project through fifteen years of financial challenges, technical obstacles, and political intrigues. He convinced ordinary French citizens to invest their money, and he won the backing of Napoleon III and of Egypt's prince Muhammad Said. But the triumph was far from perfect: the construction relied heavily on forced labor and technical and diplomatic obstacles constantly threatened completion. The inauguration in 1869 captured the imagination of the world. The Suez Canal was heralded as a symbol of progress that would unite nations, but its legacy is mixed. Parting the Desert is both a transporting narrative and a meditation on the origins of the modern Middle East. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Great Sea

Author: David Abulafia
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019971732X
Size: 49.83 MB
Format: PDF
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Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In this brilliant and expansive book, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it. Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together." Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.

Under Osman S Tree

Author: Alan Mikhail
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022642717X
Size: 10.80 MB
Format: PDF
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The early modern Middle East was a crucial zone of connection between Europe and the Mediterranean world, on the one hand, and South Asia, the Indian Ocean, and sub-Saharan Africa, on the other. Accordingly, global trade, climate, and disease both affected and were affected by what was happening in the Middle East s many environments. The trans-territorial and trans-temporal character of environmental history helps shed new light on the history of the region, and Alan Mikhail s latest tackles major topics in environmental history: natural resource management, climate, human and animal labor, water control, disease, and the politics of nature. It also reveals how one of the world s most important religious traditions, Islam, has related to the natural world. This is a model book that sets the course for Middle East environmental history."

Picture Imperfect

Author: Russell Jacoby
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231502974
Size: 75.10 MB
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"The choice we have is not between reasonable proposals and an unreasonable utopianism. Utopian thinking does not undermine or discount real reforms. Indeed, it is almost the opposite: practical reforms depend on utopian dreaming."--Russell Jacoby, Picture Imperfect Utopianism suffers from an image problem: A recent exhibition on utopias in Paris and New York included photographs of Hitler's Mein Kampf and a Nazi concentration camp. Many observers judge utopians and their sympathizers as foolhardy dreamers at best and murderous totalitarians at worst. However, as noted social critic and historian Russell Jacoby argues in this salient, polemical, and innovative work, not only has utopianism been unfairly characterized, a return to an iconoclastic utopian spirit is vital for today's society. Shaped by the works of Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Gustav Landauer, and other predominantly Jewish thinkers, iconoclastic utopianism revives society's dormant political imagination and offers hope for a better future. Writing against the grain of history, Jacoby reexamines the anti-utopian mindset and identifies how utopian thought came to be regarded with such suspicion. He challenges standard readings of such anti-utopian classics as 1984 and Brave New World and offers stinging critiques of the influential liberal and anti-utopian theorists Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, and Karl Popper. He argues that these thinkers mistakenly equate utopianism with totalitarianism. The reputation of utopian thought has also suffered from the failures of, what Jacoby terms, the blueprint utopian tradition and its oppressive emphasis on detailing all aspects of society and providing fantastic images of the future. In contrast, the iconoclastic utopians, like those who follow God's prohibition against graven images, resist both the blueprinters' obsession with detail and the modern seduction of images. Jacoby suggests that by learning from the hopeful spirit of iconoclastic utopians and their willingness to accept new possibilities for society, we open ourselves to new and more imaginative ideas of the future.

Peace Be Upon You

Author: Zachary Karabell
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307541142
Size: 37.21 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a narrative that is at once thoughtful and passionate, an award-winning historian reveals the history of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews over the course of fourteen centuries until the present day. The harsh reality of religious conflict is daily news, and the rising tensions between the West and Islam show no signs of abating. However, the relationship between Muslims, Christians, and Jews has not always been marked with animosity; there is also a deep and nuanced history of peace. From the court of caliphs in ancient Baghdad, where scholars engaged in spirited debate, to present-day Dubai, where members of each faith work side by side, Karabell traces the forgotten legacy of tolerance and cooperation these three monotheistic religions have enjoyed—a legacy that will be vital in any attempt to find common ground and reestablish peace.

Seas And Waterways Of The World

Author: John Zumerchik
Publisher: Abc-clio
Size: 18.59 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This is the first comprehensive encyclopedia on the history of the vast and varied ways human beings have used the world's waterways for business, protection, and recreation. * 134 entries, organized alphabetically within 3 sections * Approximately 50 contributors-experts in the study and practice of water-based commerce * A chronology of important events in nautical history * A rich selection of photographs, illustrations, and maps

A Concise History Of The Middle East

Author: Arthur Goldschmidt
ISBN: 9780813343884
Size: 66.25 MB
Format: PDF
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Revised and updated to reflect the latest scholarship and recent events in the Middle East, this book introduces the history of the turbulent region, from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, focusing in part on the Palestinian question and the roles of Iraq and Iran in the post-9/11 Middle East. Original.