Monday, 16 November 2009

This week's new books

Pashas: Traders and Travellers in the Islamic World, James Mather (Yale University Press)
The Levant Company was established in 1581 and, long before the age of European imperialism, Britons known as Pashas travelled to the East to seek their fortunes in the Ottoman Empire. Ranging across two and a half centuries, Pashas charts the origins of the company’s trade in the Middle East and recollects the everyday existence of Britons living there.

Inside the Kingdom, Robert Lacey (Hutchinson)
A portrait of the Saudi state and society, which recounts, for example, how Bin Laden and his Arab fighters in Afghanistan were fostered by both the US and Saudi governments, the background to the seizure of Mecca’s Grand Mosque and the tragedy of the ‘Qateef Girl’, in the voices of the Saudis themselves.

The Roman Conquests: Italy, Ross Cowan (Pen & Sword)
This first volume in The Roman Conquests series charts Rome’s earliest struggles to conquer peninsular Italy, the first stage in their domination of an empire stretching from Scotland to the Sahara desert, but one that has been often obscured by their later conquests of Gaul, for example.

How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin (Princeton University Press)
Based on a wide range of historical examples, including the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, Peru’s Shining Path and the Provisional IRA, this study of the demise of terrorist groups over the past two centuries, outlines how we might strategically approach today’s terrorist groups and the fight against al-Qaeda.

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