Book Notes

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 

President Obama and Iran: Engagement, Isolation, and Regime Change

Dr. Tanter delineates four schools of approach to unraveling the Gordian Knot of America’s relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. First, he describes the Engagement Option, favored by those who proffer a “Grand Bargain Approach.” Presumably, advocates of this option would recognize Iran’s sovereign right to enrich uranium and offer Tehran a sec...    read more 

A High Price: the Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism

In A High Price: The Triumphs & Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism, Daniel Byman has written one of the best definitive histories of Israeli counterterrorism efforts available. Dr. Byman' s narrative is arranged in chronological sections detailing the major permutations of the Israeli experience from the 1920s creation of the Haganah and the foundations of...    read more 

Entebbe A Defining Moment in the War on Terrorism: The Jonathan Netanyahu Story

On July 4, 1976, Israeli forces conducted one of the most successful military operations in the nation's history, to rescue civilian hostages held by terrorists at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. This long-distance raid is viewed as one of the important successes of anti-terrorist operations during the 1970s, and provided an example that other nations could a...    read more 

Humanitarian Intervention

Countries that cannot or will not protect their citizens from extreme want and violence are obligated to request assistance from the international community; the country in need that refuses to ask for and receive such aid temporarily forfeits its sovereignty and is subject to involuntary intervention. That intervention may be military and can occur against ...    read more