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Use the index (or search) these books to identify entries related to your topic or areas of interest. You might not find entries that narrowly focus on your topic; if so, try to find entries that relate broadly.
Use reference books to:
Contextualize your topic (and get background information)
Find search terms (for use in databases and primary source collections)
Identify which aspects of a topic interest you
Get citations for relevant books, articles, and primary source collections
Identify which scholars have written about the topic
Identify areas of debate and disagreement in the scholarly literature
Handbooks and Companions
The following sources provide overviews of Middle Eastern history. They are a quick way to find out the basic facts and recent scholarly interpretations.
When using an article in an encyclopedia or handbook, always check the bibliography for further reading at the end of the article. It will provide a selective list of the books and articles you can start with.
Comprising 26 newly commissioned essays by leading international scholars, the Companion treats the Middle East as four differentiated political units: Iran, Turkey, Israel, and the Arab world. While focused primarily on the modern and contemporary periods, it also includes a number of chapters on classical and pre-modern themes. Topics are situated within a chronological framework and include the rise of Islam, the militarization of Islam under a wide variety of dynasties, the commercial and industrial revolutions, colonial rule, and the struggle for independence. A final section highlights issues that have preoccupied historians in the second half of the twentieth century, and are most likely to gain momentum well into the twenty-first. These range from oil and urban growth to the role of women and democratic human rights.
Provides full-text encyclopedia articles, primary source documents, maps, images, and timelines relating to Islamic studies. Articles cover the history, peoples, beliefs, individuals, and cultures that constitute the world of Islam.
To find materials that are relevant to this course, connect with Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Then click "Browse" and limit your results by era (e.g. to 1900-1980s or to 1980s-2000s).
This authoritative reference book provides detailed information on the major aspects of each country's government and political party system. International organizations, from the African Union to the World Trade Organization, are profiled as well. Good source for information on current events, elections, political history, and more. (Latest volume in the Starr Main Reading Room)
Historians have interpreted events in the Middle East from a variety of different viewpoints. Analysis of these interpretations, known generally as historiography, can give more nuance to your arguments and provide a greater context for your understanding.
You can also find book reviews by searching Historical Abstracts (ABC-CLIO, history journal article database).
"This collection of ten essays focuses on the way major schools and individuals have narrated histories of the Middle East. The distinguished contributors explore the historiography of economic and intellectual history, nationalism, fundamentalism, colonialism, the media, slavery, and gender. In doing so, they engage with some of the most controversial issues of the twentieth century." --H-Net Reviews. (This resource is also available in a print edition.)
This site publishes scholarly book reviews in History and other disciplines. Try searching for reviews that relate to your research topic. Book reviews give you an overview of the main argument in a scholarly book, and often highlight important points raised in each chapter. The reviewer will usually highlight what (in their view) are the main strengths and weaknesses of a particular book and the argument it raises.