Over the centuries the Middle East has confounded the dreams of conquerors and peacemakers alike. This now-classic book, fully updated to 2009, follows the historic struggles of the region over the last two hundred years, from Napoleon's assault on Egypt, through the slow decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the painful emergence of modern nations, the Palestinian question and Islamic resurgence.
For this fourth edition, Economist journalist and Middle East correspondent Nicolas Pelham has written an extensive new chapter examining recent developments throughout the Middle East, including the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in Iran, the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict and relations with the US under President Obama.
Peter Mansfield was born in 1928 in India. In 1955 he joined the British Foreign Office and went to Lebanon to study Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies. From 1961 to 1967 he was the Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Times. He became one of Britain's foremost experts on the Middle East. Peter Mansfield died in 1996.