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I found this work both interesting, well organised and much better suited to the audio format than other such works. The authors do a good job in separating fact, analysis and opinion. They are not afraid to give their own (diverging) views on the arab-israeli conflict, but emphasize that the listener should make up their own mind based on a solid knowledge of the history, which the book provideds the basis for. To anyone looking for a non biased history and not propaganda from the arabs or israelis this is a great start.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
This audiobook is a good listen. It gives more perspectives than other history books. The period detailing colonialism, nationalist struggle, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict are fairly depicted. Overall it is balanced and provides good overview of modern Middle East history.
25 of 29 people found this review helpful
If you want to learn about the roots and developments of the current political situation in the Middle East, from Iran to Egypt, this is where you can find out. It is an up-to-date, authoritative textbook for a foundation course, read out completely verbatim. This is not an audiobook to attempt to whizz through non-stop; I listened to several sections more than once in order to absorb the information, but I was keen to do so because I learned so much from the book. Its structure facilitates understanding, with clear sectional headings and summaries of each chapter. Probably the most informative sections are those on the birth and earliest years of Islam, and those on the late 19th and early 20th century.
It may well be worthwhile complementing the audiobook with reference to online information, eg from Wikipedia, as the lack of maps or other visual aids is a bit of a drawback. However, I would never have found the time to read all through the text versions of the book, whereas taking it steadily on my iPod I have been totally committed and absorbed in my listening. I have finished it now but fully intend to go back again to several sections. I fully recommend this.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition? What did you like least?
I think the material might good but the narration was so flat and boring I had to keep replaying sections as I couldn't pay attention. It seems to a popular style across the historical / political genre particularly with American narrators which is such a shame.
I've given the story and overall ratings as 3 stars to give it the benefit of the doubt and would recommend trying this as a book instead of audiobook.
I listened to this book at night as it genuinely sent me to sleep.
Would you recommend A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition to your friends? Why or why not?
Nope. Friends who had heard it playing in the background commented on how boring the narrator sounded.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Weiner?
Anna Massey would have been superb. Mark Elstob or Maggie Mash would also have been good.
They all give performances with enough emotional inflection to bring the subject to life but not so much that they become distracting or overly dramatic.
Was A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition worth the listening time?
Any additional comments?
I wish I'd listened to this quickly enough after purchasing to get a refund. Waste of time and money for me.
It did teach a lesson which is to listen to the whole of the audio sample audible provide. I tend to just listen to a minute at most to ensure I don't find the narrator annoying or distracting. If I'd listened longer I would have realised how boring it was and not bought it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful