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Modern Middle East portrayed in book coedited by Edmund Burke III

By Scott Rappaport

The second edition of Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East, coedited by UCSC history professor Edmund (Terry) Burke III and David Yaghoubian, was published in December by the University of California Press. The book features 24 biographical portraits of Middle Eastern men and women from the mid-19th century to the present.

Photo of Terry Burke

Edmund Burke III

Now updated and revised, the second edition contains a new section, "Contemporary Lives," with six added portraits from the post-1990 era. The book is widely used in courses on modern Middle Eastern history. As the Times Literary Supplement noted: "This book succeeds splendidly in its objective of challenging simplistic views of the Middle Eastern past. Muslims and Jews, women and workers, are shown not just to be 'marionettes in the historical drama,' in Burke's words, but active agents in influencing the passage of their lives."

The Independent added that the mini-biographies “are all fascinating” with “enough plot, character, intrigue, and drama to inspire any novelist." Burke is the director of UCSC's Center for World History, which is sponsoring a lecture series during winter and spring quarters titled "Itineraries in the Muslim Mediterranean, 1350-1950: Individuals, Change and Memory in a World Region" (see Currents news brief).

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