The social origins of the modern Middle East /
Haim Gerber.
Boulder, Colo. : L. Rienner ; London, Eng. : Manseld Pub., c1987.
vii, 221 p.
0931477638 (lib. bdg.) :
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Boulder, Colo. : L. Rienner ; London, Eng. : Manseld Pub., c1987.
0931477638 (lib. bdg.) :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 213-215.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-06:
Inspired by Barrington Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (CH, Jan '67), Gerber argues that the sociopolitical character of 20th-century Middle Eastern states was forged in the process of mutual interactions among the social classes within them. Focusing on the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, specifically Turkey and the Arab states of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt (as well as Palestine), Gerber seeks to explain why these societies evolved differently from the parliamentary democracies and communist states examined by Moore. He points not to the success or failure of peasant revolutions (as Moore did) but to their absence in the Middle East, an absence caused by the de facto ownership of land in the form of peasant small holdings. Gerber's central point is that the agrarian structure of the Ottoman Empire differed from that of other great agrarian states in that no landed upper class emerged within it. Only after the Ottoman land law of 1858 required registry of land did a landed elite evolve and, even then, only in a few parts of the empire. The unrest that ultimately resulted took the form of army coups in the 1950s. Gerber (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) draws on both his own research in the archives of the Bursa region of western Anatolia and case studies by others doing social research on the Ottoman Empire. Highly recommended for college and university libraries.-L.M. Lewis, Eastern Kentucky University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1987
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