As part of the GLORIA Center’s Free Books project, we have published 13 of my books on our site, free and full-text to be read online or easily downloaded. The books are available in HTML and PDF and will soon be available for download in all other formats.
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If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution (in the United States, UK, or Israel) to help support this project and other GLORIA activities, please visit our donation page. However, I have decided that sharing these stories, ideas, and research is more important than a priority on trying to make money, which is the philosophy that has always directed the GLORIA Center.
We invite you to take advantage of this free service, designed to promote education on Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and other issues. I hope you find this material useful in your work, research, study, and analysis.
A brief note on the contents of this library:
Nine of the books deal with the modern Middle East:
- Cauldron of Turmoil, how the Persian Gulf became a cockpit of international conflict with a special focus on U.S. policy, the Iranian Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq War. Read this book to understand the Gulf and how the United States became so deeply involved there, including the waging of two full-scale wars.
- The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict traces how Arab countries became involved in this issue in the period between the 1920s, through the 1948 war, and into the 1950s. It is the only study of how Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria interacted with the Palestine issue and shows how the way things developed was not as inevitable as it might seem.
- Istanbul Intrigues is the story of Istanbul, Turkey, and the Balkans during World War Two. It combines a study of the diplomatic, military, and espionage fronts based on the use of archives explored for the first time.
- Paved with Good Intentions is a study using both archives and contemporary sources of the mutual entanglement of the United States and Iran, the road leading to the 1979 revolution, and the tremendous conflict between the two countries ever since.
- Modern Dictators: Third World Coupmakers, Strongmen, and Populist Tyrants is a cross-regional study of dictatorships in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. It shows how traditional dictatorships modernized themselves using the political insights of communism and fascism on how to organize an effective authoritarian regime. It also shows how structures and behavior are often similar despite different ideologies.
- Islamic Fundamentalists in Egyptian Politics is a history of radical Islamism in modern Egypt, both the Muslim Brotherhood and smaller groups. It focuses on the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and the revival of Islamism after its repression by the Arab nationalist regime, but includes an epilogue on the 2012 revolution. Read this book to help understand why the Brotherhood and Salafists are running Egypt today.
- The Long War for Freedom-The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East is a study of Arab liberals, moderates, and reformers, on the eve of the “Arab Spring.” It explains the debates they engaged in, their attempts to induce democracy and pragmatism, and also the reason for the difficulties they faced, which has generally led to their defeat. Read this book to help understand why the moderates lost the “Arab Spring” battle despite the fact that most Western observers expected them to triumph.
- The Tragedy of the Middle East is my attempt to bring everything together and explain the course of the region’s modern history. It deals with problems of structure and ideology, with the huge shortcomings of the Arab nationalist and Islamist movements and ideas that have dominated the region. Read this book to understand why the Middle East has become a zone of such intense violence, conflict, and instability.
- The Truth About Syria explains that country’s history and the nature of the Ba’thist regime, which has now ruled the country for sixty years. It shows how the system was able to retain power for so long, how it broke down, and why it is so hated. Read this book to understand both the nature of the radical nationalist regimes and the causes and course of Syria’s civil war.
Two books focus explicitly on U.S. policy–although many of the above volumes also deal extensively with that subject:
- Secrets of State is a history of the State Department and the U.S. foreign policymaking process from the country’s establishment through the 1980s. It explains the American exceptionalism of philosophy and process as well as the key personalities and issues that have shaped the history of U.S. foreign policy. Read this to understand American diplomacy, which is incomprehensible without understanding the process that underpins it.
- Hating America: A History, written with Judith Colp Rubin, is a history of anti-Americanism from the original settlement of America in the seventeenth century down to the present, including all of its regional variations (especially European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern). It explains that while American policy and values both play a role in creating and shaping anti-Americanism, the key factor is how this attitude interacted with the culture, society, and politics of those expressing it. Read this book not only to understand the phenomenon of anti-Americanism but also because a set of such ideas largely governs attitudes among hegemonic academics, experts, journalists, and policymakers even in the United States itself today.
Finally, two books deal with modern Western history with an emphasis on Jewish history:
- Assimilation and Its Discontents is a history of Jewish assimilation, both in Europe and America, focusing on the cultural, intellectual, and political aspects that have shaped it. This assimilation process has in turn had an enormous effect on the development of Western civilization itself.
- Children of Dolhinov: Our Ancestors and Ourselves is written as a history of my grandparents’ small town in Poland. But it develops several other themes: How unknown lives and obscure places shape and reflect much bigger historical trends; how we should relate to our ancestors and how that shapes us. This book is published here for the first time.
This comprises much of my life’s work and I hope you find it enjoyable and useful. If you have questions or thoughts you are welcome to write me directly.
With best wishes,