Department of History

History 241

War and Society in the Modern Middle East

University of Michigan

Fall 2000


Course Title: War and Society in the Modern Middle East

Class Schedule: Lec TTH 2:30-4 pm A H Aud D

Office Hours: T 12-1, Th. 2-2:30

Instructor: Juan Cole

Telephone: 763-1599; e-mail:

This course treats the impact and experience of warfare on the modern Middle East as it emerged from the empires of the 16th and 17th centuries. It deals with the military and strategic aims of the colonial powers (France, Britain, and Russia) as well as Ottoman and other local attempts to meet the European challenge in the nineteenth century. It then examines the impact of WW I, WW II, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the Gulf Wars on the shaping of the 20th century Middle East. Grading is based upon a midterm and a final.

Required texts: (Available at Shaman Drum, 313 S. State St., tel. 662-7407,

and at Reserve Reading Room, 3rd Floor, Shapiro Undergraduate Library):

Course pack at: Dollar Bill's


William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, Co.: Westview, 2000, 2nd edn.)

N. Elmessiri and A. Elmessiri A Land of Stone and Thyme: An Anthology of

Palestinian Short Stories. London: Quartet, 1996.

Michael R. Gordon with Bernard E. Trainer, The Generals' War, Little, Brown, 1996.

Ilyas Khuri. Kingdom of Strangers. (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 1996).

Victor Kiernan. Colonial empires and armies, 1815-1960. Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1998.

T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Anchor, 1991)

Yitzhak Rabin, The Rabin Memoirs (Berkley: University of California Press, 1996)

Class Sessions

Sept 7 Orientation

Sept 12 Islam: The Myths and Realities of Jihad

Sept 14 War and Society in the Ottoman Empire

Sept 19 Bonaparte's Invasion of Egypt

Sept 21 Colonialism: Geography, Logistics, Technology

Sept 26 The "Civilizing Mission," Religion, and the Impact on Europe

Sept 28 France in the Middle East to WW I

Oct. 3 The British in Egypt and the Sudan

Oct. 5 Russia and the Great Game

Oct. 10 Ottomanism, Islam, and Structures of Resistance

Oct. 12 The Myth of Lawrence of Arabia

Oct. 17 World War I and the Making of the Middle East

Oct. 19 Turkey from Gallipoli to Ataturk

Oct. 24 Class Discussion

Oct. 26 Midterm Exam

Oct. 31 WW II and the Middle East

Nov. 2 The Cold War as a Framework for Middle Eastern Wars, 1946-1991

Nov. 7 The Algerian War of Independence

Nov. 9 The Arab-Israeli Wars, Pt. 1

Nov. 14 The Arab-Israeli Wars, Pt. 2

Nov. 16 Film on Arab-Israeli Conflict

Nov. 21 The Lebanese Civil War

Nov. 28 Women and War

Nov. 30 Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988

Dec. 5 The Gulf War, 1990-1991

Dec. 7 Afghanistan Wars and the Theocratic International

Dec. 12 Class Discussion

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