In The



HIST 3950 Sec. 001, Spring 2001

Prof. Joshua Landis



MEETING:      DAH 0128 (DALE HALL CLASSROOM BLDG) M W, 15:30 - 16:45

OFFICE:          DAHT 316

                        Office Hours: Wednesday 3:00-4:30

                        Phone: 325-6002




BOOKS: To Purchase

1.         Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 4th ed. 2001.

2.         Brands, H. W.  Into the Labyrinth: The United States and the Middle East, 1945-1993, New York: McGraw Hill, 1994.

3.         Source Reader. (to be bought at King Copy on Lindsey St.) All readings not otherwise marked are in the Source Reader.



REQUIREMENTS: are three essays and a final exam.

1. Class preparation: Students are expected to attend all classes.

2. Map Quiz                                                                             10%

3. 5-page paper                                                                        40%

4. 3-page take-home essay                                                       20%

5. Final Exam                                                                           30%



We will study the major wars of the region beginning with the First World War, when the modern state system was created, and ending with the Gulf War, when the U.S. hoped to construct a new world order. We will cover the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Cold War, and the contest for control of the Persian Gulf and oil markets. We will investigate the role of the Great Powers as well as the major Middle Eastern states in shaping international relations in the region over the past century.



1) Wed. Jan. 17

Introduction: What is the Middle East?


Week 1

2) Mon. Jan. 22

The Middle East and Palestine to 1914

·        Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, pp. 1-22.


3) Wed. Jan. 24

The Ottoman Empire and Palestine

·        Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, pp. 23-58. [35]


Week 2

4) Mon. 29

World War One

·        Smith: pp. 58-108. [50]

·        Mary Wilson, “The Hashemites, the Arab Revolt, and Arab Nationalism,” Khalidi, et. al. eds., The Origins of Arab Nationalism, New York: Columbia U. P., 1991, pp. 204-21. [16]

·        Sir Alec Kirkbride, "T.E. Lawrence," from A Crackle of Thorns: Experiences in the Middle East, London, 1956. pp. 5-11. [6]

-         (Kirkbride fought in the M.E. during W.W.I &, as British Resident in Transjordan during the 1940s, had great influence over King Abdullah.


5) Wed. Jan. 31

The Peace Settlements

·        Above readings


Week 3

6) Mon. Feb. 5

Palestine Between the Wars: Land and Population

·        Smith, pp. 109-162


7) Wed. Feb. 7

Palestine Between the Wars: White Papers and Ideology

·        Walid Khalidi, "The Role of the Press in Early Arab Reaction to Zionism," in Peuples Méditeranéens, No. 20, 1982, pp. 105-123.  [18]

·        Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, the Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State, New York: Basic Books, 1981, pp. 3-13, 159-187. [35]

·        Vladimir Jabotinsky, "The Iron Wall," [2]

1. Do you agree with Vladimir Jabotinsky's views? Is he right in his assessment of Palestinian nationalism in the "Iron Wall"?

Week 4

8) Mon. Feb. 12

World War II in the Middle East, the Holocaust and Partition


9) Wed. Feb. 14

1948 War: The First Phase: Palestinians against Jews

-- Map Quiz


Week 5

10) Mon. Feb. 19

1948 War: Arab States against Israel


11) Wed. Feb. 21

The 1948 War

6-page Paper Due: (in class) Based on all readings.


Week 6

12) Mon. Feb. 26



13) Wed. Feb. 28


Week 7

14) Mon. March 5

The Beginnings of the Cold War: the Truman Doctrine, Northern Tier and the Baghdad Pact


15) Wed. March 7

The Suez Crisis


Week 8

16) Mon. March 12

Soviet Successes, The UAR, the Eisenhower Doctrine and the Yemen War


17) Wed. March 14

The 1967 War


Spring Break


Week 9

18) Mon. March 26

The 1973 War



19) Wed. March 28

The Camp David Accords and the Civil War in Lebanon


Week 10

20) Mon. April 2

The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon and the West Bank


21) Wed. April 4

The Intifada


Week 11

22) Mon. April 9

The Oslo Accords, the PNA and Arab-Israeli Negotiations


23) Wed. April 11

How Will the Arab-Israeli Conflict End?

-- Essay Due and Discussion. Possible topics to be announced


Week 12

24) Mon. April 16

The Iranian Revolution


25) Wed April 18

Iraq and Saddam Hussein

Week 13

26) Mon. April 23

Gulf Security and Saudi Arabia


27) Wed. April 25

The Gulf War

Video, "The Gulf War," by "Frontline" of the Public Broadcasting Service.

Week 14

28) Mon. April 30

The Gulf War


29) Wed. May 2

The Future of the Middle East


The final exam will have short answers. It is on Tuesday May 8, 4:30-6:30 pm