Regional Studies

Regional and Cultural Studies

Angry Wind, Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel

By Jeffrey Tayler

411hT9M5ojL._AA160_Jeffrey Tayler penetrates one of the most isolated, forbidding regions on earth–the Sahel. This lower expanse of the Sahara, which marks the southern limit of Islam’s reach in West and Central Africa, boasts such mythologized places as Mopti and Timbuktu, as well as Africa’s poorest countries, Chad and Niger. In parts of the Sahel, hard-line Sharia law rules and slaves are still traded. Racked by lethal harmattan winds, chronic civil wars, and grim Islamic fundamentalism, it is not the ideal place for a traveler with a U.S. passport. Tayler finds genuine danger in many guises, from drunken soldiers to a thieving teenage mob. But he also encounters patience and generosity of a sort found only in Africa.

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus

By Robert D. Kaplan

41hi8IjMe3L._AA160_Eastward to Tartary, Robert Kaplan’s first book to focus on a single region since his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, introduces readers to an explosive and little-known part of the world destined to become a tinderbox of the future. Kaplan takes us on a spellbinding journey into the heart of a volatile region, stretching from Hungary and Romania to the far shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

By Robert D. Kaplan

510Zn0vNwjL._AA160_On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change. In this pivotal examination of the countries known as “Monsoon Asia”—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power.

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

By Barbara Demick

51Alddlu1JL._AA160_Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. 

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In

By Hugh Kennedy

51W+NwyrgWL._AA160_Hugh Kennedy’s sweeping narrative reveals how the Arab armies conquered almost everything in their path, and brings to light the unique characteristics of Islamic rule. One of the few academic historians with a genuine talent for story telling, Kennedy offers a compelling mix of larger-than-life characters, fierce battles, and the great clash of civilizations and religions.

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

Understanding Arabs: A Contemporary Guide to Arab Society

By Margaret K. Nydell

611CsmSKSvL._AA160_Understanding Arabs: A Contemporary Guide to Arab Society is a handbook accessible to everyone. Written by the highly esteemed linguist, Margaret Nydell, the book promotes understanding between modern-day Arabs and Westerners without pushing a political agenda.

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

By Bernard Lewis

51qbBsMH8fL._AA160_In this elegantly written volume, Bernard Lewis, a renowned authority an Islamic affairs, examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to make sense of how it had been overtaken, overshadowed, and dominated by the West. In a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil, Lewis shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry, industry, government, education, and culture. He also describes how some Middle Easterners fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, while others asked not “Who did this to us?” but rather “Where did we go wrong?”

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.