Reflecting today's most recent findings, this enlightening book presents an even-handed survey of Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the present day, beginning with a substantial account of the early centuries and then concentrating primarily on the modern, post-1914 decades. It provides concise, readable, and balanced coverage of Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, and Iran, and offers ten detailed maps and a useful bibliography of selected works to broaden readers' understanding. Deals with the whole Middle Eastern region within particular periods - rather than on a topical or country-by-country basis - allowing readers to see the events in each country at any point in relation to what is happening in other parts of the Middle East. Offers a world/historical perspective, emphasizing the relationship of the Middle East to other regions and civilizations, particularly with the West. Highlights from the Third Edition include a new section dealing with events from 1991 to 1996; an examination of the controversy over Orientalism; an updated bibliography; new glossary of terms (many relating specifically to Islam); and an appendix which fully explains the Pillars of Islam and Jihad. For historians, anthropologists, and those in business and government.