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How is the complex history of the ancient Near East and Islamic World brought to bear in contemporary political discourse?In this book, Medieval Near Eastern historian Jacob Lassner explores the resonance of ancient and medieval history in the political disputes that dominate the contemporary Middle East. From identification with ancient forbears as a method of legitimization and nation-building, to tracing the deep history of the concept of revolution in the Arab world, the author probes the historical foundations of modern conflicts in the region.
A medievalist, the author takes the position that an appreciation of cultural history is essential to understanding the debate surrounding the Israel/Palestine conflict.
In turn, the book identifies the misappropriation and misunderstanding of the past, deliberate or accidental, as key weapon in the ongoing conflict.
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