Select one of the keywords
Empires, Wars, and Battles: The Middle East from Antiquity to the Rise of the New World    by T. C. F. Hopkins order for
Empires, Wars, and Battles
by T. C. F. Hopkins
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

With no end in sight to the United States' protracted stay in the Middle East, it's important to understand the history of this crucible of civilization. T. C. F. Hopkins, author of Confrontation at Lepanto: Christendom vs. Islam, now gives us Empires, Wars, and Battles, providing a short but detailed history of the Middle East beginning when towns and cities were first formed long, long ago. It is not really surprising that the birthplace of civilization remains a very important area in today's world. Hopkins' book presents an excellent short history of this renowned but (to the West) relatively unknown part of the world.

The book is split into only five chapters covering over two hundred and fifty pages. Hopkins presents the reader with a great deal of information under: The Ancient World, The Roman Period, Byzantium and Islam, The Rise of the Ottoman Empire, and The Ottoman Century and Beyond. Because centuries of history and events need to be covered in these chapters, the book would have been more approachable if there had been further chapter divisions. As it is, the nonstop volume of information given to the reader in each chapter can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, for anyone who understands the cultures somewhat already and is looking for a quick informational download, this is the ideal book. Hopkins, presents history, dates, and battles, moving from this group to that group - such as Hittites, Huns and Mongols - all in different locations with different intentions, in an accurate portrayal of the mix of cultures that existed in southwest Europe and the Middle East in the eras covered.

While my hope with Empires, Wars, and Battles was that Hopkins would link events and occurrences of the past with explanations for the present situation, there is only a sentence or two here and there that connects to today's Middle East. But Hopkins goes on to say that Empires, Wars, and Battles serves as a companion book to Confrontation at Lepanto, which together no doubt provide a clearer picture on the enigmatic Middle East with its different, and often clashing cultures and faiths.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews