An examination of how history has shaped the identity of the Middle East. Most of its modern states are of recent origin, yet the region is the birthplace of three religions and many civilizations. Bernard Lewis, a world respected historian of the Middle East, discusses the countries and frontiers, their religions and communities, language and loyalties, and Middle Eastern perceptions of outsiders. He also considers the effect of alien ideas and influences including liberalism, nationalism, fascism, socialism and democracy.
Bernard Lewis, a world-respected authority on Islamic and Middle Eastern history, is Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, where he has been since 1974. Born in London in 1916, he was Professor of the History of the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1949-74. His numerous books on the Middle and Near East have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian .