100 Myths About the Middle East
If a bit of discomfort is a sign that education may be taking place, then this book has a bit of education in it for just about everyone. Professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, Halliday fearlessly and dispassionately takes on pervasive “facts,” stereotypes, perceptions and overly reductive ideas—often held by residents of the Middle East as well as by westerners, and by people in the street as well as by “experts” whom we’d expect to know better—and in clear prose puts them smartly, occasionally iconoclastically, into contexts larger than those most of us take into daily consideration. He covers conflicts in the region, views of Islam past and present, western relationships with Middle Eastern governments, economics, nationalism, conspiracy theories, politically manipulated language and even humor. (Myth 2: “The Middle East is a region... [with] no sense of humour”—quite the opposite, Halliday shows.) Few books cut so quickly and clearly through so many misconceptions.