March 28, 2003 in Iraq War

Understanding the Middle East

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Alex Golub a graduate student at the University of Chicago and fellow blogger suggests a few website and books to read to better understand the situation in the middle east. The list is pretty impressive. But if you don’t have the time or energy to read so many books, consider the following:From Beiruit to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman. As Library Journal indicates:

There have been any number of books that have worked hard at interpreting the melange called the Middle East. This one, however, makes a difference because it’s so well written and captures the psychological mannerisms of the people of Lebanon and Israel–the first step to understanding some of the mysterious “why” that seems to elude the American public and government. Friedman’s credentials are impressive: he spent six years of journalistic service for the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem, has won two Pulitzer prizes, and is now the Times ‘s chief diplomatic correspondent. His writing is vastly descriptive, incredibly illuminating, very educational, and marvelously persuasive.

If you’re just trying to catch up on world history, consider reading:Modern Times: The World from Twenties to the Nineties by Paul Johnson. I read most of this book (700 pages+) the summer after my junior year of high school at the suggestion of a professor at UMass Boston. It made a world of difference and helped me better understand why the world is so f**ked up.


  1. March 30, 2003 at 2:09 pm


    That speaks volumes about our former employer. Thank goodness we are both out of there. Btw, I think JP is gone too. Was actually surprised but looks like he and Mr. I was the last journalist in taniman square (liar) had a major falling out. Don’t know the specifics but I can only imagine.

  2. March 30, 2003 at 2:36 am

    Leigh Hanlon

    For a truly frightening world view of the Middle East, check out the news over at WorldNet Daily. Sometimes I think these folks are actually praying we’re in the End Times and that Revelation is coming true in current events. By the way, Ursula, the folks who designed this Web site were among several companies under consideration to revamp our former employer’s site before the job was tackled in-house.

  3. March 29, 2003 at 9:46 pm


    I admit: Friedman. I would have listed it, except that I just got so annoyed at the endless fluffy metaphors and chatty style of _Lexus & Olive Tree_ that I cut him out of the list. But I do agree – I think the closer he hews to a particular case, the better he is, so yeah – that’s definitely a great book to read.

  4. March 28, 2003 at 8:24 pm


    I think your last suggestion is a better then his rather large list 😉

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