I just finished reading Napolean’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Like many histories, the details about who did what when during the French invasion of Egypt got a little tedious, but I think knowing more about this event helps provide some context for what’s going on in our world today.
I’ve read a couple other books that have given some useful background on the Middle East. All The Shah’s Men is about the 1950s CIA-sponsored coup in Iran and The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna is a survey of the first thousand years of Muslim history.
In my pile of books to read, I also have The Middle East Under Rome. You probably don’t need to go back more than 2,000 years to a time before Christianity and Islam existed to get background on the Middle East, but I like reading about Roman history and it will be interesting to see what issues from then are still relevant today.
Up next, World War Z.