YouTube Recording – You will be sent a link to a private playlist containing all 5 sessions from Fall 2021 within 48 hours during standard office hours.
NOTE – This is part 3 of a series that includes classes from Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 which are both available for purchase.
Previous SPARK discussions on the Middle East have dealt with the broad expanse of who, what, when, where, what and how its history plays an important role in today’s world. These Fall 2021 SPARK classes continue that discussion with the focus on the early to mid 29th Century Middle East. The horizon of European world history spans some 1,000 years while that of the US spans some 250 years. Overlaying this western history, the Middle East historical timeline covers over 10,000 years encompassing the crisscrossing, mixing and settling of numerous peoples, tribes, religions, civilizations, cultures and empires engaged in trade, warfare and simple survival. This overlay of short-term western and long-term eastern histories came together around the First World War and the residue has confounded many 20th Century diplomats and policymakers since.
To shed some light on today’s Middle East, the first class this Fall will look at regional players and events preceding the First World War. Aside from the adventures of Lawrence of Arabia that we are familiar with. The WWI history we do know frequently has a western perspective with prominence given to European and Russian events and personalities. From an estern perspective in the second session, we will focus on WWI Middle East events which underpin the places and people that world policy and diplomacy contend with today. The third and fourth sessions will look at the many cross purposes, entreaties, duplicities and “help” rendered by a multitude of internal and external players during the Middle East interwar years. These interwar years feature revolts, “state making”, tribal and cultural disruption, hostilities and the introduction of modernity. The fifth class will address the all-consuming history and subject of Middle East oil from its discovery through WWII and into the 1950s. The 1950s become a natural demarcation point in Middle East-world history because after this time government attention to oil switches from a primarily military necessity to responding to civilian and domestic oil demands. This shift in focus created much of the Middle East landscape today.
Instructor: Jerry Reser entered the Navy after college and retired after 27 years with the rank of Captain. He holds degrees from Kansas State University, University of Southern California, the Naval War College and the DOD Chinese language program. Following retirement, Jerry lived eight years in Saudi Arabia working as program manager for a Saudi Ministry of Defense and Saudi Air Force think tank. For another five years, he lived in Lebanon and traveled extensively in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He is currently doing historical research into US and world events in the post-WWII period of 1946–1952.
Part 1 from Fall 2020 and Part 2 from Winter 2021 are available for purchase as recorded classes.