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The Ottoman Empire, over the course of its existence, evolved a cultural synthesis of strands coming from its Arab, Persian and Byzantine antecedents, as well as the folk culture of its constituent populations. Culinary traditions were part of this legacy, and the taste for sweets an ever popular and refined element, constituting a repertoire extending into modern Turkey and the Middle East.
In modern Ottoman and Balkan history as in other fields, biographical studies have enjoyed a rather mixed fortune.
Theodore Ziolkowski has been writing in the fields of German literature (especially Hermann Hesse) and comparative literature for some 50 years. One of his abiding interests has been an examination of what happens to the mythology, themes and plots embedded in works of ancient literature when modern writers and other artists encounter them.
Coller’s study explores the Arab presence in France in the early 19th century. Through detailed attention to an eclectic source base, Coller reconstructs the movements, cultural expressions, and political possibilities of diverse communities of Egyptians who migrated to France after Napoleon’s attempted conquest of Egypt.
This is the book about German Orientalism I felt I could not and did not want to write, and I am very grateful to Ian Almond for having produced it.
I first came into contact with Jo Laycock’s Imagining Armenia when I received the Manchester University Press catalogue and found it listed on the page after my book.
If one looks today at a satellite image of Manama (1), the capital city of Bahrain, the picture of the extended urban conurbation which covers both the north of the main island and the little island which faces it (Muharraq, the former capital of the emirate in the 19th century) is rather different from the ‘Islands of Paradise’ featured in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic
The Urban Social History of the Middle East, 1750–1950 is an ambitious attempt to write a comprehensive account of 200 years of Middle East history from a social history perspective.
The intention of this book is to ‘retell’ the history of the Middle East through ‘the medium of individuals’ (p. 18). But not any individuals, only those in the ‘Middle East kingmaking business’ (p. 158). None of the thirteen men, ten British and three American, and two women, both British, who feature most prominently in this nicely produced volume ‘attained the summit of national power’ (p.