By Bernard Lewis
In instances of struggle and in peace, from the earliest days of the Roman Empire to our personal, Westerners have journeyed to the lands of the center east, bringing again money owed in their adventures and impressions. but it used to be by no means a a method trade. From the 1st Arab embassy to the Vikings within the ninth century to the web musings of the Taliban, a center East Mosaic collects a wealthy, boisterous literature of cultural exchange.
We see the yankee Revolution during the eyes of a Moroccan Ambassador and the French Revolution via a sequence of Imperial Ottoman proclamations. we discover incredible pix of Napoleon ("a brigand chief"), TE Lawrence and Ataturk. We study what George Washington and Machiavelli via t of Turkish politics and listen to Flaubert and Thackeray rail opposed to jap crime and punishment. We peer into Voltaire's enterprise correspondence and stick to the footsteps of Mark Twain, Richard Burton, Gertrude Bell and Ibn Battutta, the Marco Polo of the east. nice discoveries are recorded - an Egyptian Ambassador is brought to electrical energy and dismisses the spectacle as "frankish trickery;" one other broadcasts the discovery of a safe mail method most beneficial for assignations. We input the harem with a sixteenth century organ maker and emerge with Ottoman reform.
It was once now not until eventually the 16th century that the 1st center jap rulers entered into diplomatic relatives with ecu rulers, yet alternate usually precede diplomatic relatives. company males from the times of the crusades opposed to Saladin to the oil prospecting of Samuel Cox and his descendents have noticeable nice percentages within the markets of the center east. And in the course of the centuries we've got been united by way of battle. We witness the outbreak of the Crimean warfare with Karl Marx and input Egypt with Napoleon. We realize Arab customs with George Patton and stopover at Baghdad and Cairo with George F. Kennan within the moment international battle. whilst Usama bin Ladin rails opposed to "Jews and crusaders" occupying the holy land, he's rehearsing a criticism with an extended history.
This symphony of voices, jam-packed with wit and knowledge, spite and sweetness, suspicion, befuddlement and low perception, is ordered and defined by means of our most efficient dwelling historian of the center east. The fruit of a life of scholarship and erudition, a center East Mosaic is a blinding capstone to a super occupation. In a lively reappraisal of western perspectives of the east and jap perspectives of the west during the last thousand years, Bernard Lewis provides us a super over-view of 2,000 years of trade, international relations, warfare and exploration.
This booklet is a satisfaction, a treasury of reports drawn from letters, diaries and histories, but additionally from unpublished files and formerly untranslated money owed. Diplomats and interpreters, slaves, infantrymen, pilgrims and missionaries, princes and spies, businessmen, medical professionals and clergymen all pour forth their tales of the folks and occasions that formed heritage. a center East Mosaic can't fail to attract somebody with an urge for food for background and a interest in regards to the vagaries of cultural exchange.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters and History
F. 15 As a result of the Russian conquest of the Central Asian territories in the second half of the nineteenth century, the devastating Turcoman raids into northeastern Iran were stopped, Iran lost some northeastern territories it considered to be under its nominal rule and a base was created for further Russian expansion southward. From the 1860s to the 1880s, Great Britain became Russia’s most important rival on the international stage. Russia’s steady advance into Central Asia and her increasing presence in the Caucasus alarmed the British, who were primarily concerned about protecting India from the other great powers.
Bokhara, Samarkand, Khiva, and Kokand fell under Russian domination; the ﬁnal battle of Geok-Tepe (1881) concluded the military operations. The capture of Merv in 1884 almost erupted into open warfare with Britain. Iran suffered more loss of territory as a result of the Russian advance into Central Asia: [Russia] crossed an imaginary line somewhere to the north of the Turkmen village of Qizil-Su that Persia considered to be her frontier. To Persian protests about this new intrusion Russia replied that the Iranian border had never exercised any authority over the Turkmens.
Travelers from that period mainly included those who went there as merchants, those who went on religious missions, and adventurers. After the fall of the Safavid dynasty, the number of European accounts decreased rapidly since travel in Iran, often in a state of anarchy, became dangerous. In the early nineteenth century, following the establishment of the Qajar dynasty in 1796 and the increasing involvement of Europe in Iranian affairs, there was a signiﬁcant rise in the number of Europeans who traveled to Iran and a fresh explosion of travel accounts.
A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters and History by Bernard Lewis