The Economic History of the Middle East 1800-1914
The University of Chicago
The nineteenth century marked a transition in the Middle East from centuries of stagnation and isolation to the modern world of political independence and a revolutionary transformation of the economic and social structure of the region.
This book of readings is the first systematic attempt to study the economic history of modern Turkey and its Arab neighbors. With sections on the Ottoman Empire, Iraq, Syria, Arabia, Egypt, and the Sudan, it covers the integration of the region in the international commercial and financial network; the investment of foreign capital; the development of mechanical transportation; the transition from a subsistence agriculture to a market-oriented one; the growth of the population; the decline of handicrafts; and the establishment of modern industries.
of the sixty-two readings, seven are published here for the first time, and two-thirds of the others are translations from French, Arabic, German, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, and Italian publications. Introductory notes and essays draw the selections together into a more or less consecutive narrative, emphasizing the salient features of the economic history of the various countries discussed.
Anyone interested in the history of the Middle East or in general problems of economic and social development will welcome this body of material which was hitherto inaccessible to all but a few scholars.
Charles Issawi was born in Cairo, Egypt, of Lebanese parents. He has lived or traveled in most Middle Eastern and West European countries. A graduate of Oxford University, he has served as chief of the Research Department of the National Bank of Egypt, as chief of the Middle East Unit, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat; has taught at the American University of Beirut; and is now Ragnar Nurkse Professor of Economics, Columbia University. the research for the present book was supported in part by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. Among Mr. Issawi’s previous books are Egypt in Revolution, An Arab Philosophy of History, and the Economics of Middle Eastern Oil.