Book Notes

The Siege of Magdala: The British Empire Against the Emperor of Ethiopia

The Siege of Magdala: The British Empire Against the Emperor of Ethiopia By Volker Matthies, translated by Steven Rendall (Princeton, NJ: Wiener Publishers, 2012) pp. 209 Reviewed by Dr. Wyndham E. Whynot, Professor of History, Livingstone College A major power’s diplomats and other personnel taken hostage by a developing nation; a series of unsuccessful n...    read more 

Putin’s New Order in the Middle East

Putin’s New Order in the Middle East by Talal Nizameddin (London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd., 2013) pp. 358 Reviewed By Moritz Pieper, PhD Researcher, University of Kent at Brussels At a time when Western observers and practitioners of international and Middle Eastern politics struggle to find solutions to the raging Syrian civil war, it [&hellip...    read more 

Conflict Analysis: Understanding Causes, Unlocking Solutions

Conflict Analysis: Understanding Causes, Unlocking Solutions by Matthew Levinger (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace), 265 pp. Reviewed by Benjamin Arah, Associate Professor of Government & Philosophy, Department of History & Government, Bowie State University Conflict Analysis, by Levinger (2013), is an extraordinary and comprehensiv...    read more 

Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America

Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America By Ilan Berman (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2013) 256 pp Reviewed by Dr. Matthew Levitt, Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Washington Institute for Near East Policy With the world focused on Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, pundits are debating what Mo...    read more 

The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction

The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction By Amanda H. Podany (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014) pp. 168 Reviewed by Dr. Wyndham E. Whynot, Professor of History, Livingstone College The knowledge many people have of the Ancient Near East comes either from a high school history course, their World History 1 class in [&hellip...    read more 

Sayyid Qutb: The Life and Legacy of a Radical Islamic Intellectual

Sayyid Qutb: The Life and Legacy of a Radical Islamic Intellectual by James Toth (Oxford University Press, 2013) pp. 392 Reviewed by Rev. Dr. D. Antoine Sutton, Semitica Language Academy James Toth has written an admirable book, filled with architectonic ideology. It is a 382 page tome of a specific kind: judicious and fair in [&hellip...    read more 

For Better, For Worse: The Marriage Crisis That Made Modern Egypt

For Better, For Worse offers a thorough examination of the marriage crisis in early twentieth-century (1898-1936) Egypt and is a welcome contribution to gender studies and Middle East studies. As Kholoussy argues in her book, marriage is a quintessential part of Egyptian society, especially in the vast rural portion of Egypt. Therefore, when middle c...    read more 

Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi

In Plato’s classic work Republic, his protagonist Socrates delineates five types of political regimes, and assigns a different kind of person to each to illustrate what it represents. “Democratic man,” one of the five typologies of man, is “gorgeous” in his diverse passions, yet flighty and inconstant. Socrates explains that democratic man “indul...    read more 

Israel: A History

Since the Jewish Diaspora of the first and second centuries spread them throughout Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, the Jewish people have often hoped for a land where they could practice their beliefs, traditions, and customs for centuries. Anita Shapira’s book not only provides an analysis of the historical process leading up to the foundation of the modern ...    read more 

Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State

Why should one care about events in Somalia? Outside of the people who reside in the place, that is, Somalis themselves, why would anyone trouble oneself with this, seemingly intractable, problem on the Horn of Africa? International politics, particularly strategy in international politics, encourages one to consider problems in different regions of the worl...    read more