This is the first post in what I hope to be another series. It is a highly experimental post so bear with me. It has come to my attention that while highly intelligent that not all my readers have a strong background in Oriental history. So I am taking this opportunity to provide a list of books that I think provide an excellent introduction to this subject for the average lay reader. I have broken down the list by region. Unfortunately, the list is incomplete. I have not yet been able to find suitable books on Iran, the North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, the Volga-Ural region, Eastern Turkestan, Indonesia or Maylasia. If anybody has any additions to add to this list please put them in the comments. It is a work in progress.
Barnett R. Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, 2nd edition (Yale University Press, 2005).
The Arab World
Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (Harvard University Press, 1991).
Edward Allworth, ed., Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Dominance: A Historical Overview, 3rd edition (Duke University Press, 1994).
Alan W. Fisher, The Crimean Tatars (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1978).
Martha Brill Olcott, The Kazakhs, 2nd edition(Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1995).
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005).
Erik Zurcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I.B. Tauris and Co., Ltd., 2001).