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Book topics: Modern, History, Travel, T. E. Lawrence, Fiction, Assyria, Babylonia, Bahrain, Caliphate, Egypt, Iran/Persia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Palmyra, Phoenicia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sumer, Syria, Zenobia, Turkey, UAE, Yemen
Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Monarchies by Christopher Davidson. About the six traditional monarchies comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies by Joseph Kechichian. A reference guide.
Reform in the Middle East Oil Monarchies edited by Anoushiravan Ehteshami and Steven Wright. Can Arab traditions provide the basis for constitutional monarchy? What are the risks of change and what has been achieved so far? Articles by academics and government officials address these issues.
After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies by Christopher Davidson. According to the author, the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain inevitably will collapse.
All in the Family by Michael Herb is about absolutism, revolution, and democratic prospects in the Middle Eastern monarchies. Published in 1999.
Monarchies and Nations: Globalisation and Identity in the Arab States of the Gulf edited by Paul Dresch and James Piscatori. Examines such issues as Gulf-owned media, the role of women in the Kuwaiti state, and the way Saudi Arabia manages its yearly influx of pilgrims.
Creation of the Modern Middle East
A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin is about the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East.
The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, 1870-1914 by Frederick Fallowfield Anscombe examines the role the Ottoman Empire played in the creation of modern Gulf states.
The Modern Middle East: A Political History Since the First World War by Mehran Kamrava. Takes readers from fall of the Ottoman Empire to modern times.
Three Kings: The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East After World War II by Lloyd C. Gardner. The story of the U.S. scramble for influence, oil, and a military presence based on generous aid to shaky regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Iraq.
The Making of the Modern Gulf States by Rosemarie Said Zahlan. Explores the history of the royal families of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T. E. Lawrence. In this book, "Lawrence of Arabia" tells the story of his role in the Arab revolt against the Turks and draws evocative portraits of the principal players.
A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence by John E. Mack. A Pulitzer Prize-winning biography which explores the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and his historically significant actions.
Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson. A narrative of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, a conflict shaped to a remarkable degree by a handful of Western adventurers and low-level officers.
Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda. This biography reveals Lawrence as a farsighted diplomat and kingmaker, military strategist of genius, and one of the first victims of modern media celebrity.
T. E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero by Harold Orlans. Lawrence of Arabia helped draw the map of the modern Middle East, creating Jordan and making Feisal king of Iraq. This careful study, based on virtually all English-language sources, presents a balanced picture of his life.
The Forgotten Queens of Islam by Fatima Mernissi, translated by Mary Jo Lakeland, is a history of Islamic royal women.
Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East by Amanda H. Podany. From 2300 to 1300 BCE, great kings kings forged friendships across hundreds of miles which gradually made wars between them less common.
Royal Apologetic in the Ancient Near East by Andrew Knapp. Examines eight formal defenses of the legitimacy of kings who came to power under irregular circumstances, including Telipinu, Hattushili III, David, Solomon, Hazael, Esarhaddon, Nabonidus, and Darius.
In the Garden of the Gods: Models of Kingship from the Sumerians to the Seleucids by Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides. Argues that the emphasis on the divine favor bestowed upon kings in the Ancient Near East should be understood metaphorically.
History of Arabs
History of the Arab Peoples by Albert H. Hourani covers thirteen centuries of Arab history.
The Arabs: A History by Eugene Rogan. Traces five centuries of Arab history, from the Ottoman conquests through the colonial periods and up to the present age, drawing from Arab sources little known to Western readers.
Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. A comprehensive history that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone.
A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel by Gudrun Krämer. Examines the gradual transformation of Palestine, from the Egyptian occupation of the mid-19th century to the Ottoman reform era, the British Mandate, and the founding of Israel.
Petitioning the Sultan: Protests and Justice in Late Ottoman Palestine by Yuval Ben-Bassat. Examines petitions sent during the last decades of the empire to the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II.
The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies by Peter M. M. G. Akkermans and Glenn M. Schwartz. The first comprehensive presentation of the archaeology of Syria from the end of the Paleolithic period to 300 BC.
Roman Syria and the Near East by Kevin Butcher. The provinces that the Romans called Syria covered a vast area occupied today by several modern states. These included some of the most spectacular ruins of the ancient world -- Palmyra, Baalbek, and Apamea -- and fabled cities such as Antioch, Damascus, Sidon, and Tyre.
Historical Dictionary of Syria by David Dean Commins. Covers significant persons, events, and institutions from the earliest settlements to the present.
Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt Against Rome by Richard Stoneman. In the 3rd century AD, the Syrian city of Palmyra -- under the rule of its queen, Zenobia -- broke away from Rome. This is the first comprehensive book about Roman Syria, the revolt of Zenobia, and the city of Palmyra.
Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen by Pat Southern. Biography of the third century Syrian queen who challenged the authority of Rome.
Zenobia: Shooting Star of Palmyra by Nathaniel J. Andrade. Hailing from the city of Palmyra, Zenobia (also called Bathzabbai) governed a huge tract of the eastern Roman empire, including Syria, Arabia, and Egypt from 268 to 272. Her rise and fall were meteoric.
Zenobia: Between Reality and Legend by Yasmine Zahran. This account of the Palmyrene warrior queen brings her world to life through first-person narrative.
Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen: Ruling Families in Transition by Gabrielle vom Bruck. Tells a story of a Yemeni hereditary elite that was overthrown in the 1962 revolution in North Yemen after enjoying exclusive rights to the leadership of the Imamate, the religiously sanctioned state, for over a millennium.
Historical Dictionary of Yemen by Robert D. Burrowes. Covers people and events in Yemen from ancient times through the 1990s.
Studies in the Medieval History of the Yemen and South Arabia by G. Rex Smith.
A History of Modern Yemen by Paul Dresch. A single Yemeni state was not formed until 1990. Much of Yemen's 20th century history was taken up constructing a state after years of civil war. Book includes illustrations, maps and a detailed chronology.
Yemen: Jewel of Arabia by Charles and Patricia Aithie. A large format, full-color photography book.
King: An Epic Novel by Riad Nourallah. A prince in pre-Islamic Arabia must leave his carefree life to avenge the murder of his father by a rival tribe. He travels to Constantinople, where, at the imperial court of Justinian and Theodora, he pleads for political and military support.
The Legend of the Wandering King by Laura Gallego Garcia. Fantasy novel inspired by the life of Imru'l Qays, a real 6th century poet who was said to be the son of the last king of Kindah in Arabia. For young adult readers.
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These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Lawrence of Arabia. Peter O'Toole gives a star-making performance in this 1962 movie as T.E. Lawrence, the eccentric British officer who united the desert tribes of Arabia against the Turks during World War I. Alec Guiness plays Iraq's future King Faisal. (Review © Amazon.com)
A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia. 1991 movie starring Ralph Fiennes. Siddig el Fadil (aka Alexander Siddig) plays King Faisal.
Royalty in Bahrain