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Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
by Karen Armstrong
A popular history by the author of A History of God. Armstrong tackles big subjects -- and this book is no exception. It's a comprehensive, concise portrait of the city over the last 5,000 years.
Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism
by Cathy Gere
In this marvelous, scholarly study of the myth and meaning on Minoan Crete, Gere illuminates both the original excavations of Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos and how this ancient civilization captured the Western imagination as an idealized society.
Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
by Yossi Klein Halevi
"Like Dreamers" interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present. This book gives insight into where Israel and Israelis are politically, socially, economically, and religiously.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
by Mary Beard
A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.
It's All Greek to Me
by Charlotte Higgins
With timelines, a who's who, charts and maps, this handy little primer is a thoroughly entertaining introduction to everything Greek, from poetry and drama to philosophy, history and culture.
Egypt, A Short History
by Robert L. Tignor
Princeton historian Tignor distills five decades of study and travel for this vivid account of the sweep and tumult of Egyptian history from the settlement of the Nile to the present.
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
by Ari Shavit
Israeli journalist Ari Shavit illuminates the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing and uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today's global political landscape.
Cairo, The City Victorious
by Max Rodenbeck
Rodenbeck presents his hometown in all its chaotic, marvelous glory, combining a lively history of the 5,000-year-old metropolis with description, anecdote and political commentary.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Artemis Leontis (Editor)
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.