A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition

  • by Arthur Goldschmidt, Lawrence Davidson
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The ninth edition of this widely acclaimed text has been extensively revised to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in the Middle East. As an introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, the book is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment. It focuses on the evolution of Islamic institutions and culture, the influence of the West, the modernization efforts of Middle Eastern governments, the struggle for political independence, the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the roles of Iraq and Iran in the post-9/11 Middle East, and more.
Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr., is professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Modern Egypt: Foundation of a Nation-State and the recipient of the Amoco Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching and the 2000 Middle East Studies Association Mentoring Award.
Lawrence Davidson is a professor of history at West Chester University. He is the author of several books, including America’s Palestine and Islamic Fundamentalism.


What the Critics Say

“The premier text for the study of the Middle East. Goldschmidt and Davidson’s well-written and solidly argued analyses of the most important and crucial developments of Middle Eastern history and politics…could not be timelier.” (Robert Olson, University of Kentucky)
“I can only offer unmixed praise for the new edition of A Concise History of the Middle East….Sparklingly clear and straightforward for even the ‘general reader.’…Remarkable.” (Mark Seifter, Lehigh Carbon Community College)
“Well-organized, comprehensive, balanced, and exceptionally readable….The authors blend significant historical detail with timely political analysis in a cogent style that is compelling and lucid.” (Donald Wagner, North Park University, Chicago)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

clear, comprehensive and informative

If you want to learn about the roots and developments of the current political situation in the Middle East, from Iran to Egypt, this is where you can find out. It is an up-to-date, authoritative textbook for a foundation course, read out completely verbatim. This is not an audiobook to attempt to whizz through non-stop; I listened to several sections more than once in order to absorb the information, but I was keen to do so because I learned so much from the book. Its structure facilitates understanding, with clear sectional headings and summaries of each chapter. Probably the most informative sections are those on the birth and earliest years of Islam, and those on the late 19th and early 20th century.

It may well be worthwhile complementing the audiobook with reference to online information, eg from Wikipedia, as the lack of maps or other visual aids is a bit of a drawback. However, I would never have found the time to read all through the text versions of the book, whereas taking it steadily on my iPod I have been totally committed and absorbed in my listening. I have finished it now but fully intend to go back again to several sections. I fully recommend this.
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- Margaret

Bland and boring narration makes this hard work

What did you like best about A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition? What did you like least?

I think the material might good but the narration was so flat and boring I had to keep replaying sections as I couldn't pay attention. It seems to a popular style across the historical / political genre particularly with American narrators which is such a shame.

I've given the story and overall ratings as 3 stars to give it the benefit of the doubt and would recommend trying this as a book instead of audiobook.

I listened to this book at night as it genuinely sent me to sleep.

Would you recommend A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition to your friends? Why or why not?

Nope. Friends who had heard it playing in the background commented on how boring the narrator sounded.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Weiner?

Anna Massey would have been superb. Mark Elstob or Maggie Mash would also have been good.

They all give performances with enough emotional inflection to bring the subject to life but not so much that they become distracting or overly dramatic.

Was A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition worth the listening time?


Any additional comments?

I wish I'd listened to this quickly enough after purchasing to get a refund. Waste of time and money for me.

It did teach a lesson which is to listen to the whole of the audio sample audible provide. I tend to just listen to a minute at most to ensure I don't find the narrator annoying or distracting. If I'd listened longer I would have realised how boring it was and not bought it.

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- Kitty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.