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  • Recent Publications
  • Alex Bet-George and Emily Schirvar


Egypt Awakening in the Early Twentieth Century: Mayy Ziyadah's Intellectual Circles, by Boutheina Khaldi. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 237 pages. $85.

Focusing on the literary tradition of 20th century Egypt, the author addresses the role of salon and epistolary culture in the Nahda — the Arab cultural awakening — as well as the contributions of Arab women. In particular, the book narrows in on Lebanese-Palestinian litterateur May Ziadeh's salon, and its break from the traditional salon — which was typically reserved for men and held in a privileged, private setting. The author explores the modern-day revolutions within the context of Egypt's literary history, using Ziadeh's salon as a microcosm for explaining the relationship between learning and societal change. (ES)


Israel's Security and Its Arab Citizens, by Hillel Frisch. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 213 pages. $90.

The author integrates theoretical work from international relations and security studies into the discussion of state-minority relations in Israel. The book argues that Israel's treatment of Arab minorities is best understood in the context of the country's larger geopolitical situation. In particular, the author seeks to show that Israel's relationship with its minority population is largely informed by a sense of threat and security concerns. Frisch begins by briefly addressing the body of literature on the subject — primarily focusing on the lack of research on situational geography. He then provides a historical overview before going on to address the influence of civil society, as well as domestic and political forces, in shaping Israel's treatment of its Arab minority. (ES)

Modern History and Politics

The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance in the Middle East, ed. by Mark L. Haas and David W. Lesch. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013. 274 pages. $22.

The Arab Spring comprises an anthology of writings divided into two parts concerning each of the country's development of the wave of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. Haas and Lesch provide readers with background knowledge and analysis to predict the movement's future course. Major themes discussed in HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.3751/67.2.4 [End Page 335]

Part One include the dichotomy in the liberal leadership during the period of demonstrations calling for the authoritarian ruler's ousting, and subsequent Islamist party victories in elections for transitional governments. Part Two centers on the question of how different powers outside of the Arab world have restructured their relationships with countries affected by the Arab Spring. The chapters cover aspects of the movement such as the unlikely evolution of Syria's peaceful street protests into a sectarian conflict, and how Russia has redefined its foreign relations in the Arab world following the Arab Spring. (ABG)

A Concise History of the Middle East (Tenth Edition), by Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr. and Lawrence Davidson. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013. 510 pages. $52.

This new edition is intended to be more streamlined, with 21 chapters divided into small, easily manageable bites. It includes new scholarship and a section on the Arab uprisings. Briefs help introduce key players, and a series of maps and diagrams helps orient the new scholar of the Middle East. The text begins with an overview of the Middle East before the arrival of the prophet Muhammad, continues through to discuss the Arab empires and Westernization, and addresses the numerous wars and peace processes undertaken in more recent history. A Concise History provides a balanced treatment of often-controversial topics, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the roles of Iran and Iraq post-9/11. (ES)

A Frenchwoman's Imperial Story, by Rebecca Rogers. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013. 277 pages. $65.

This book explores the life of Eugènie Allix Luce, a French woman who left her husband and daughter to take part in the colonialization of Algeria. Luce forced the French colonizers to make the education of women and girls a part of the colonial agenda almost single-handledly; she ran a girls school for many years, where she taught French spelling and grammar, arithmetic, and sewing. The book is intended to shed light on...


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