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The making of the middle east

If you want to understand who the modern Arabs are and how their relationship with the western world has evolved, you will not find a better book

By Kishwer Falkner   February 2010

Pictured: Gamal Abdel Nasser

The Arabs: A History By Eugene Rogan (Allen Lane, £25)

There are many myths about the middle east. And one that remains surprisingly popular in this country is that Britain still has significant influence there—a view often reinforced by Arab sentimentalisation of British power. For those still wedded to this view, Eugene Rogan’s The Arabs: A History will provide pause for thought. It sets the scene for understanding the contemporary middle east through a beautifully crafted tour d’histoire spanning five centuries. It marks the beginning of the modern age for Arabs as the point when the…

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