As the Middle East continues to become more topical to American and European audiences, a need for textbooks to teach the history of the region has become urgent. Some such textbooks take a topical approach, others use a chronological narrative. Betty Anderson
's A History of the Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues
(Stanford University Press, 2016) combines both. Taking us through the whirlwind of the last few centuries, she focuses on three types of actors: the titular rulers, rebels and rogues, where rulers rule, rebels rebel, and rogues operate somewhere in-between. Anderson demonstrates that all three have shaped the development of the Middle East politically, socially, culturally, intellectually, and economically.
NA Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.