10 books like Lion of Jordan

By Avi Shlaim,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Lion of Jordan. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Juan Carlos

By Richard Preston,

Book cover of Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy

Despite the scandals that led to his abdication, King Juan Carlos will go down in history as the courageous architect of Spain’s tightrope transition to democracy. But how exactly did he pull it off? Historian Paul Preston answers that question in his judicious, meticulously researched biography. The author recounts the life story of Juan Carlos, the boy prince whose parents essentially “sold him into slavery” to Francisco Franco in the hope that he would one day restore the House of Bourbon and sow the seeds of Spanish liberal democracy. Against all odds, Juan Carlos succeeded––and so too did the people of Spain.

Juan Carlos

By Richard Preston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Juan Carlos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Preston, the author of the definitive biography Franco, explores the political and personal mysteries of the Spanish monarch's life in Juan Carlos, a story of unprecedented sweep and exquisite detail. Handed over to the Franco regime as a young boy, Juan Carlos was raised according to authoritarian traditions designed to make him a cornerstone of the dictatorship. How then did he later emerge as an emphatic defender of the democracy that began to form after Franco's death? In his peerless voice, Preston provides the details necessary to answer this central question, examining the king's troubled relationship with his father…


The Shah and I

By Asadollah Alam,

Book cover of The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran's Royal Court, 1969-1977

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to wear a crown, ride in a gold carriage and wave from a balcony? To make decisions that affect the lives of millions of people? The English language translation of The Shah and I has never been out of print and for good reason. More than thirty years ago the revelation that Asadollah Alam, the Shah of Iran’s closest adviser and confidante, kept secret diaries describing life at the Pahlavi Court, not to mention the most intimate details of his master’s life, shocked Iranians. Scandalous, humorous and entertaining, the Alam diaries also happen to comprise one of the most important diplomatic documents of the second half of the twentieth century. In these pages the previously untouchable, always suspicious King of Kings is revealed to be flesh and blood like the rest of us––quick to temper, bored with routine and always happy to…

The Shah and I

By Asadollah Alam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shah and I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Asadollah Alam, an urbane aristocrat from the oldest of Iran's great families, was the Sha's most trusted friend and confidant. As Prime Minister in 1962, Alam orchestrated the defeat of Ayatollah Khomeini's first serious challenge to the Pahlavi regime. Subsequently, he was made Minister of Court, a position of unique power and influence, which he retained until ill-health forced him to retire in 1977, the year before his death. Alam's diaries cover a nine-year period with remarkable frankness, recording his almost daily meetings and conversations with the Shah.


The Queen

By Ben Pimlott,

Book cover of The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II

This is another biography of the current queen that shows how the monarchy works. It differs from Sarah Bradford’s biography. Pimlott was a historical expert on the labour party during the twentieth century. He brought to his book all the skepticism about the crown that people on the political left traditionally have in Britain. Perhaps surprisingly, then, he comes out admiring Elizabeth II. He sticks much more narrowly than Bradford does to political crises in which the queen had some noted or decisive influence.

The Queen

By Ben Pimlott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There will be no better biography of Elizabeth II as a figure of state until her official one appears-and perhaps not even then."-The Independent. "One of the many merits of Ben Pimlott's superbly judicious biography of Elizabeth II is that it understands this connection between monarchy and masses, and carefully evokes its political importance."-The New York Times Book Review. "The best all-around study of the Queen so far, showing understanding as well as amused irony."-Sunday Telegraph. Written by Ben Pimlott, considered Britain's most respected political biographer, The Queen brings us the most authentic life yet of the reigning monarch. For…


Monarchy in Modern Greece

By Costas M. Stamatopoulos,

Book cover of Monarchy in Modern Greece

How do monarchies begin and why do they fail? Remarkably few serious studies of Greece’s deposed royal family have appeared in print. Monarchy in Modern Greece, now available in this excellent English translation, offers readers a highly informative and thoughtful account of Greece’s experiment with “crowned democracy.” Written in essay form, scholars and general readers alike will find much to illuminate and entertain as Costas Stamatopoulos judiciously reviews the reigns of the seven monarchs whose reigns were buffeted by domestic and international crises. The lengthy footnote section is a veritable gold mine for anyone wanting to explore further and dig deeper.

Monarchy in Modern Greece

By Costas M. Stamatopoulos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monarchy in Modern Greece as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Distributed by University of Exeter Press. 107 b&w photographs, English language text. For perhaps the first time, a holistic account of the institution of the monarchy in modern Greece. Looks at the political behaviour of the Greek people and their relationship with authority in every form, to explore why this specific type of constitution was chosen in 1832 at the end of the Greek 'Struggle for Independence'. The development of the monarchy is explored in parallel with the quest for popular legitimization and the constitutional dimension, including the contradictions in the constitutional legislation and the fragility of a democratic constitutional…


Death as a Way of Life

By David Grossman, Haim Watzman (translator),

Book cover of Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement

In novels and non-fiction, Israeli author David Grossman has spent much of his career writing about the failed struggle for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This series of essays, written over a period of years, chronicles moments of good will and hope on both sides, constantly undermined by sectarian passion and extremist opposition to peace. 

Death as a Way of Life

By David Grossman, Haim Watzman (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death as a Way of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Death as a Way of Life, David Grossman, one of Israel's great fiction writers, addresses urgent questions regarding the middle east in a series of passionate essays and insightful articles.

Writing not only as one of his country's most respected novelists and commentators, but as a husband and father and peace activist bitterly disappointed in the leaders of both sides, Grossman asks: What went wrong after Oslo? How can Israelis and Palestinians make peace? How has the violence changed their lives, and their souls?


Righteous Victims

By Benny Morris,

Book cover of Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001

Tracing the roots of political Zionism back to the pogroms of Russia and the Dreyfus Affair, Morris describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers into Palestine and the impact they had on the Arab population. Following the Holocaust, the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948 resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel, but it also shattered Palestinian Arab society and gave rise to a massive refugee problem. Morris offers distinctive accounts of each of the subsequent Israeli-Arab wars and details the sporadic peace efforts in between, culminating in the peace process initiated by the Rabin Government. In a new afterword to the Vintage edition, he examines Ehud Barak’s leadership and the evolution and failure of the Oslo peace process.

Righteous Victims

By Benny Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Righteous Victims as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Righteous Victims, by the noted historian Benny Morris, is a comprehensive and
objective history of the long battle between Arabs and Jews for possession of a land they both call home. It appears at a most timely juncture, as the bloody and protracted struggle seems at last to be headed for resolution.

With great clarity of vision, Professor Morris finds the roots of this conflict in the deep religious, ethnic, and political differences between the Zionist immigrants and the native Arab population of Palestine. He describes the gradual influx of Jewish settlers, which was eventually fiercely resisted by the Arabs…


A Wall in Jerusalem

By Mark Braverman,

Book cover of A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine

If it is rare to read a Palestinian voice in this conflict, it is rarer still to hear a Jewish voice that is willing to speak honestly and critically about what is going on. Braverman is an internationally known and respected Jewish author and activist whose first book, The Fatal Embrace, won him a wide readership. Here he narrows his work to Jerusalem itself and discloses secrets about the city and its politics that few Americans ever hear.

A Wall in Jerusalem

By Mark Braverman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wall in Jerusalem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is at the center of a firestorm of political controversy, religious zeal, and bloodshed in the Middle East. Many feel that they have a biblical obligation to 'stand with Israel' - but do we really understand the conflict? And is Zionism the true path to peace?

An American Jew, Mark Braverman was transformed by witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians to bring peace to their land. From the bustling communities on either side of the Jerusalem barrier, to the historical intricacies of the Holocaust and South African apartheid,…


The Missing Peace

By Dennis Ross,

Book cover of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace

A veritable tome documenting the entire history of Middle East peace negotiations between Israel and its neighbors, including Syria, by Dennis Ross, the envoy who was on the inside throughout. Important revelations and insights emerge from the pages of this in-depth narrative of these torturous negotiations. It debunks the myth that no solutions had been or can be found. But despite agreements on all sides, one party or the other usually walked away. Because of my work in Israel, Jordan, Oman, Syria, and the Emirates, I found this book to be particularly valuable. And, now that I’ve come to know Dennis Ross personally, I value his contributions even more. 

The Missing Peace

By Dennis Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Missing Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The respected ambassador and chief Middle East negotiator in both the Clinton and Bush administrations offers an assessment of the peace process from 1988 to the present.


The Congress of Vienna

By Brian E. Vick,

Book cover of The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics After Napoleon

It was not just the generals and heads of states that convened in Vienna to make the world safe after Napoleon. Brian Vick excavated all kinds of archival and material evidence to show how artists, composers, entrepreneurs, writers, fashion agents and other unofficial opinion-shapers worked to turn the Congress of Vienna into a success, and helped to create a new international system in Europe. Vick even lists the Congress’s items of merchandise, memorabilia (be it snuffboxes or teacups adorned with royal portraits) that were sold enthusiastically in the narrow streets around the Hofburg and elsewhere in the capitals throughout Europe. Waging peace was as much a political, as a consumerist affair.

The Congress of Vienna

By Brian E. Vick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Congress of Vienna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Convened following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, the Congress of Vienna is remembered as much for the pageantry of the royals and elites who gathered there as for the landmark diplomatic agreements they brokered. Historians have nevertheless generally dismissed these spectacular festivities as window dressing when compared with the serious, behind-the-scenes maneuverings of sovereigns and statesmen. Brian Vick finds this conventional view shortsighted, seeing these instead as two interconnected dimensions of politics. Examining them together yields a more complete picture of how one of the most important diplomatic summits in history managed to redraw the map of Europe and the international…


My Promised Land

By Ari Shavit,

Book cover of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

My Promised Land is beautifully written, a story deeply informed by the author’s family history and the body of knowledge he built as an influential Israeli journalist. Shavit loves the place of his birth but doesn’t retreat from hard questions. He tells a powerful, poignant story of a state-created out of tragedy, and the brutal reality of what Jewish statehood has wrought for yet another disinherited group. There are no easy answers and Shavit offers none. But he presents the complexities and frustrations with intellectual rigor and literary grace.

My Promised Land

By Ari Shavit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Promised Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today
 
Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal…


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