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Just the facts, plus a bit of interpretation. Great way to get started or to understand a historical event or issue. You have access to many online reference books via Credo Reference, Oxford Reference, Sage Reference Online and the CQ Press Electronic Library, but don't forget excellent resouces exist in paper, too.
Concise History of the Middle East
Comprehensive introduction to the history of this turbulent region. Spanning from pre-Islam to the present day, it explores the evolution of Islamic institutions and culture, the influence of the West, modernization efforts in the Middle East, the struggle of various peoples for political independence, the Arab-Israel conflict, the reassertion of Islamic values and power, the issues surrounding the Palestinian Question, and the Middle East post-9/11 and post-Arab uprisings.
Country Studies (Federal Research Division, Library of Congress)
Search or browse for a study on the country of your choice. Books give description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: a Political, Social, and Military History
HUNT OVRSZQ-3 DS119.7 .E5653 2008
Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Also in Print: HUNT STACKS-2 DS119.7 .E568 2010
You can also find biographies by searching the catalogs listed in Finding Books, by searching for the name of the individual.
Biographical Dictionary of the Middle East.
HUNT REF-1 DS62.4 .B56 1991
Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt
Convering the period from 1760 to the present, provides biodata, biographical sketches, and source material for men and women who have played a major role in Egypt's national life.
Dictionary of Jewish Biography
By Request from Offsite DS115 .W49 1991
Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: a Biographical Dictionary.
HUNT REF-1 DS61.5 .P65 1990