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Presents an overview of the history and politics of the Middle East over the last two centuries, from Napoleon's assault on Egypt, through the slow decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the painful emergence of modern nations, the Palestinian question and the growth of Islamic fundamentalism.
Peter Mansfield was born in 1928 in India. In 1955 he joined the British Foreign Office and went to Lebanon to study Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies. From 1961 to 1967 he was the Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Times. He became one of Britain's foremost experts on the Middle East. Peter Mansfield died in 1996.