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Extended Audio Sample A History of the Middle East Audiobook, by Peter Mansfield Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (197 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Mansfield Narrator: Richard Brown Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455170043
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For more than four thousand years, the Middle East has provided a setting for titanic struggles between great civilizations and religions. In the twentieth century it became the focus of rivalry between the European powers as the last major Islamic empire of the Ottoman Turks crumbled and collapsed. The discovery of the world’s greatest oil reserves gave the region global economic importance as well as a unique strategic value.

In this masterly work of synthesis, Peter Mansfield draws on his experience as a journalist and historian to form a picture of the political and social history of the meeting point of Occident and Orient over the last two centuries, from Bonaparte’s marauding invasion of Egypt to the start of the Gulf War. In two penetrating final chapters, Peter Mansfield discusses Saddam Hussein and the prospects for the future.

Incisive and illuminating, A History of the Middle East is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand what is perhaps the most crucial and volatile nerve center of the modern world.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best overall survey of the politics, regional rivalries, and economics of the contemporary Arab world.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “An excellent political overview.”

    Guardian (UK)

  • “A brilliantly deft and well-informed guide…Coherent, dispassionate, and remarkably inclusive.”

    Times Educational Supplement

  • “It is the kind of work that clarifies a person’s perspective…it gives the listener insight into how Gamal Nassar, Anwar Sadat, Col. Qaddafi, and Saddam Hussein came to power.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Brown’s masterful reading of this book is fluid and pleasing, enlivening what could have easily come across as a monotonic lecture in the hands of the wrong reader. Brown’s skillful reading compliments an already superb book.”

    Large Print Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahsun | 1/15/2014

    " Peter Mansfield gives a good account of the history of the middle east focusing mainly on the events since the napoleonic era. I recommend everyone who cares about the history of the middle east to get a copy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/11/2014

    " Read the few chapters I wanted to- interesting and generally unbiased and offering multiple perspectives. But you know, not exactly summer pleasure reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/7/2014

    " Read the few chapters I wanted to- interesting and generally unbiased and offering multiple perspectives. But you know, not exactly summer pleasure reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Murphy | 12/21/2013

    " - good book for beginners interested in the ME "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 10/18/2013

    " Difficult to listen as an Audible book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 9/29/2013

    " At 448 pages it still felt like a whirlwind trip! An interesting and long trouble region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Nenadov | 9/26/2013

    " This is the real deal. Peter Mansfield takes a gigantic topic and makes in digestible and presents it in a very compelling fashion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahsun | 9/22/2013

    " Peter Mansfield gives a good account of the history of the middle east focusing mainly on the events since the napoleonic era. I recommend everyone who cares about the history of the middle east to get a copy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Nenadov | 6/26/2013

    " This is the real deal. Peter Mansfield takes a gigantic topic and makes in digestible and presents it in a very compelling fashion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 6/7/2013

    " It may not be the most detailed or comprehensive history of the region, but the focus on the 20th century and the indictment of the rogue Israeli state is the most compelling I've read anywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger Cottrell | 5/24/2013

    " Still one of the best books on how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire created the modern Middle East. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 2/28/2013

    " It may not be the most detailed or comprehensive history of the region, but the focus on the 20th century and the indictment of the rogue Israeli state is the most compelling I've read anywhere. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gino | 2/27/2013

    " Interesting... a bit confusing at times but it does give me a lot of insight on the tenuous relationship between the U.S., France, United Kingdom and the Middle Eastern nations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gino | 11/12/2012

    " Interesting... a bit confusing at times but it does give me a lot of insight on the tenuous relationship between the U.S., France, United Kingdom and the Middle Eastern nations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ariel | 10/17/2012

    " Brief, concise, and gripping enough, but rather general, as I supposed it has to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 10/14/2012

    " At 448 pages it still felt like a whirlwind trip! An interesting and long trouble region. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ariel | 10/12/2012

    " Brief, concise, and gripping enough, but rather general, as I supposed it has to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger Cottrell | 10/9/2012

    " Still one of the best books on how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire created the modern Middle East. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie Gotsch | 8/24/2012

    " His style is tough to plow through, but it's a concise history of the near east and good to get a general idea of particular areas. It's a classic, written in 1928 and updated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Baniza | 8/10/2012

    " brilliant book and well informed guide .. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan Hunter | 7/13/2012

    " I thought this book would have been a lot more interesting - but I found it pretty dry. I'll admit I didn't finish it - rare for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Murphy | 6/7/2012

    " - good book for beginners interested in the ME "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Baniza | 11/6/2011

    " brilliant book and well informed guide .. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie Gotsch | 10/11/2011

    " His style is tough to plow through, but it's a concise history of the near east and good to get a general idea of particular areas. It's a classic, written in 1928 and updated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan Hunter | 8/18/2011

    " I thought this book would have been a lot more interesting - but I found it pretty dry. I'll admit I didn't finish it - rare for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 5/9/2011

    " Difficult to listen as an Audible book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 4/24/2011

    " At 448 pages it still felt like a whirlwind trip! An interesting and long trouble region. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 12/7/2010

    " - good book for beginners interested in the ME "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 3/4/2010

    " His style is tough to plow through, but it's a concise history of the near east and good to get a general idea of particular areas. It's a classic, written in 1928 and updated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 11/28/2009

    " This really puts the current conflicts in the Middle East into a proper historical perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wale | 10/25/2009

    " I found this book quite interesting and highly informative. The author did an excellent job in trying to condense so much in just a few pages.
    Wished I had a photographic memory so I could retain much of the information made available in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 7/25/2009

    " Read the few chapters I wanted to- interesting and generally unbiased and offering multiple perspectives. But you know, not exactly summer pleasure reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 10/21/2008

    " Still one of the best books on how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire created the modern Middle East. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahsun | 12/28/2007

    " Peter Mansfield gives a good account of the history of the middle east focusing mainly on the events since the napoleonic era. I recommend everyone who cares about the history of the middle east to get a copy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 11/9/2007

    " I thought this book would have been a lot more interesting - but I found it pretty dry. I'll admit I didn't finish it - rare for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gino | 9/14/2007

    " Interesting... a bit confusing at times but it does give me a lot of insight on the tenuous relationship between the U.S., France, United Kingdom and the Middle Eastern nations. "

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About the Author

Peter Mansfield (1928–1996) was born in Ranchi, India and was educated at Winchester and Cambridge. For over thirty years, he wrote and broadcasted about the contemporary affairs and history of the Middle East, corresponding regularly for the Financial Times, Economist, and London Sunday Times. His books include Who’s Who in the Arab World and The Arabs.

About the Narrator

Richard Brown (1937–2005) (a.k.a. Joseph Porter), was a former ballet dancer, actor, and popular audiobook narrator. Born in England, Richard came to the United States early in his career and performed with numerous regional ballet companies. After retiring from the ballet, he pursued a career in acting and recorded dozens of audiobooks for numerous publishers.