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All are expert in presenting the insights and complexities of economics to nonspecialist audiences. Thomas G.

Rawski , the lead author, has written extensively on the economy of China. Books Digital Products Journals. Disciplines History Historiography. Economics and the Historian by Thomas G. Rawski Author , Susan B. Carter Author , Jon S. About the Book These essays provide a thorough introduction to economics for historians.

Going back in time to the Middle Ages, the novel peels back centuries of history and myth, threading together a chilling hypothetical portrayal of Dracula's lingering bloodthirsty presence into modern times.

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It is this stunning fictional premise, made all the more plausible by the novel's rich historical context and use of epistolary narrative devices and archival documents, that makes The Historian so viscerally alluring. Ambitiously transcending genres, it succeeds equally as a terrifying gothic thriller, enlightening historical novel and haunting love story. Though the shifts between the two main storylines are occasionally awkward, Kostova's masterful and atmospheric storytelling yields a bewitching and paradoxical tale that would satiate even the prince of darkness himself.

Behind a blockbuster Among the many debut novels published each year, only a small percentage are granted generous advances, film rights sales and the full force of a publishing house's publicity machine. In , the debut novel that drew the world's attention was Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. This year, the smash hit in the first-novel category is unarguably Elizabeth Kostova's vampire novel The Historian , which has more than , copies in print.

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Ten years in the making, the novel follows a young girl who takes up her father's quest to find the real Dracula. Rogan is optimistic in his views of the Arab world, as am I; there is much in his book with which I agree, and I hope to enrich the dialogue on the Middle East by these reflections.

He and his forces went on to conquer and occupy Cairo. During three years there, the French attempted to bring to Egyptians the ideas of the Enlightenment and French Revolution, and the technology of the Industrial Revolution.

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They were not impressed. Enlightenment values that the French held to be universal were deeply offensive to many Egyptians, both as Ottoman subjects and observant Muslims. The creed they follow is to make human reason supreme and what people will approve in accordance with their whims. European technology, however, was enthralling.

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And so Cairo began sending young clerics to study the ways of the French. One can see from the historical record the difficulty the Arab world had in synthesizing faith and reason. And so the constant struggle ever since has been not only their own internal inability to synthesize faith and reason, but their reflexive misunderstanding of the development of Europe. The widespread insistence that science and technology can only be gotten by the abandonment of faith continues to this day, issuing in a desire for technological growth that many Arabs feel cannot be harmonized with the other elements of their identity.

The Ottoman Empire and the Arab world proceeded to make Western-style reforms in the 19th century, if fitfully, beginning with the Reform Decree.

The Historian and Film: Challenges Ahead

One example of a difficult reform was the idea of the equality of different faiths. The Ottoman government was caught at times between warding off Western powers concerned over the welfare of Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, and pacifying the Muslim majority throughout their lands, who as part-and-parcel of their religious beliefs did not and could not view non-Muslims like Jews and Christians as equals. The introduction of such ideas brought agitation and revolts. Never again would they pursue a reform measure that openly contravened Islamic doctrine.

Thus, in the decades that followed, when the abolitionist movement and the British government combined forces to pressure the Ottoman Empire to abolish slavery, the Porte [central government of the Ottoman Empire] demurred. Rogan also recounts the attempts made by Tunisia, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire to acquire European technology. However, their ventures put them in debt to European banks, which resulted in bankruptcy, and opened the Middle East to European occupation.

Thus the lesson for the Arab world was: No reform! Because reform eventually leads to subjugation of the people and their culture. The author lays too much at the feet of colonialism and imperial Europe. The Western occupation of Arab lands and the artificial boundaries have wreaked havoc in the region, ergo all the wars and revolts.

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The historical record stands in contradiction to this claim. The Arab world had seen internal wars going back very far, whether it was Egyptian pashas attempting to conquer Greater Syria or Wahhabis fighting Iraqis and the Ottomans in the Hijaz. European machinations aggravated the situation, to be sure; the thirst for oil in modern times has made for some unsavory politics.

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For their own good it needs to stop. Because I know the Arab context well, I can sense that Rogan has unfortunately picked up some of the Arab attitude toward the Jews, although he does temper it. Clearly Rogan is not anti-Semitic; but he does tend to be partial to the Muslim Arabs. As an Arab, I understand that he is trying to stay true to the Arab perspective, but his sympathies have blurred his objectivity. When I write about Arab anti-Semitism, it is not out of vindictiveness; I write unflinchingly about it because I am convinced that Arab anti-Semitism hurts the Arabs and I sincerely want healing for them.

They killed them, confiscated their property and possessions, and drove them out of Arab lands. His being so tied to the Arab Muslim perspective leads him to minimize the virulent anti-Semitism in the Arab world to this day.