Monday, January 02, 2006

Guru Pohl's Introduction to the History of the Muslim Orient

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).

Central Asia

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).


KRISTIN said...

THANKS :D (should we read it all twice? just in case?)

Nathanael said...

Not a recommendation so much as a request: is there an essay that would help orient people outside this field as to where it is going?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Nathanael, there is no such essay as far as I know. The history of the Islamic world is not really a unified field. It is too large and diverse. I was just trying to provide some basic introductory texts on the region. I also don't think that there is not much real research going on today at the university level regarding Central Asia and Kazakhstan. I am not familiar enough with other areas to make a judgement. After all I am a guru not an academic.