What people are saying about
A First History for Adults:

It's would be a steal at twice the price!
--Mike M., San Diego

It keeps me more thrilled than any movie!
--Petter S., Norway

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Interested in the history of the Middle East?

Not sure what Powell History is all about?

Pick one lecture that interests you, and find out!


Hello, my name is Scott Powell. I am the creator of A First History for Adults™.

For the past two years, Powell History has been establishing a new standard in history instruction for adults. More and more students across America and the world have felt the Powell History difference by taking my courses in American and European history. Now, you have a chance to find out what they're raving about in my best course yet: The Islamist Entanglement! And best of all, you can try a single lecture without committing to buying the whole course (regular price $249). Instead, pick a topic that especially interests you, and listen to that complete lecture first. You can even try a second lecture for the same introductory rate of only $20/lecture (limit of two!). Then, when you see what the fuss is all about you can use the payments you've made as installments on the whole course!

Britain in the Middle East | America in the Middle East | Turkey | Egypt | Afghanistan
Iran | Iraq | Saudi Arabia | Israel | The Middle East: Its Past, Present, and Future

Each of the lectures in this 10-lecture series are designed to both stand alone and fit into a larger integrated storyline. Each features an introduction to the broader context, and an orientation to key terms and the geography of the region to help students get comfortably situated.

You'll like what you hear!

In each lecture you'll hear about aspects of the rest of the course, and you'll learn about Powell History's integrating framework, which helps students grasp and retain historical knowledge like no other instructional product available. When you see the methods I advocate in action, you'll want to try more, and you'll have two options...

Try another!

Once you've heard one of the series at the discounted rate of only $20/lecture, you can choose to hear one more at the same rate. This can help you to see the methods applied in a new context and more fully experience what it's like to listen to a history class that was built just for you. The introductory rate, however, is only applicable to two lectures. If you want to hear more...

Then, use your payments as an installment on the course.

Get the most out of your experience by integrating what you learn into a complete "knowledge web!" And use the money you've paid on your single lecture(s) as an installment payment for the whole course. [When you're ready, click here to complete your enrollment in the entire course.]

An Important Note about the Timing and Access

Lectures in The Islamist Entanglement series are held every two weeks starting February 20th. Please note the date of the lecture in the title for each single lecture listed below. If you purchase the lecture before that date, you are eligible to attend the live teleconference. If you can't make it, or you sign up after the live lecture date, you still get access to the web-based MP3 recordings indefinitely--posted ASAP, after the live lecture date.

Normally students of Powell History join yahoogroups to complete their registration. When you have paid for your single lecture via Paypal, you will be redirected to "Step 2" of the registration process. For single lecture enrollment, however, there is no step two. All information pertaining to your live lecture will be forwarded directly to your inbox.

Any Questions?

Contact me at: powellhistory@powellhistory.com.

Now, go ahead, it's time to pick what you're interested in, and start learning!


This lecture features the story of the "Eastern Question," as Europe's powers began to overtake the Ottoman Empire, and Great Britain began to view the Middle East as a connected to its wider imperial vision. The story begins in 1683, with the failed siege of Vienna by the Ottomans, and extends through the Nineteenth Century and the World Wars to 1956, when Britain suffered its final humiliation in the Egyptian Suez Canal crisis.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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This lecture features the story of America's entanglement in the Middle East from President Wilson's involvement in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the President Bush's "War of Terror". Follow the story of increasing economic and cultural ties between the US and the Middle East between the World Wars. Then see how the Cold War Truman Doctrine created a new policy towards the region, and how a string of Presidents' failures to grapple with the growth of Islamism brought us to 9/11.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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LECTURE 3: THE RISE OF MODERN TURKEY (Lecture date: March 19)

This lecture features the story of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and the attempts of its leaders to adapt to Western supremacy by a program of reforms known as the "Tanzimat." During the nineteenth century, the Ottomans oscillated between Western liberalism, nationalism, and reactionary Islamism, until the dissolution of the Empire after WWI. Then modern Turkey was born, with Mustafa Kemal "Ataturk" at the helm. The on-going struggle between secular Kemalism and Islamism in the twentieth century leaves the fate of Turkey--the most Westernized of all Middle-Eastern countries, save Israel--profoundly uncertain.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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This lecture traces the rise of modern Egypt from the Napoleon's expedition to the 27-year "emergency" rule of Hosni Mubarak. Despite a concerted effort to westernize during the nineteenth century, which included the construction of the Suez Canal, Egypt suffered tremendous setbacks at the hands of its rulers, and came under British rule in 1882. Nationalism and Islamism both sprung up in reaction to British imperialism, and led to the highly unstable relationship between the military dictatorships of Nasser and his successors and the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. Civil war may be imminent in this country, with terrifying implications for the region!

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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LECTURE 5: AFGHANISTAN (Lecture date: April 16)

Home to America's "other war," Afghanistan is the most primitive of core Middle Eastern countries. Buffeted between empires throughout its history, the region has remained a backwater of civilization to this day. How have British, Russian, and American activities in this country made it into what it is today, what are the true prospects for its newly devised institutions, and what is America's proper role in shaping its future? The essential storyline of its history gives important guidance.

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LECTURE 6: MODERN PERSIA AND IRAN (Lecture date: April 30)

Iran is the leading Islamist nation of the Middle East, and the potential instigator of a regional and even world-wide nuclear war. This current state of affairs in Iran must be understood in relation to the long history of the country's subordination to foreign powers during the Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925), its nationalist aspirations during the Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979), and its reaction against all things Western in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. An understanding of the history of Iran is indispensable to anyone who wants to know where the Middle East is headed.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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LECTURE 7: MODERN IRAQ (Lecture date: May 14)

Iraq has twice been occupied by a Western power with the goal of transforming it into a Western-style democracy. What hope does the latest attempt have of success? Britain's occupation of Iraq in 1917, its UN mandate and subsequent withdrawal, and the Iraq's subsequent regression offer important lessons that will apply regardless of whether America is led by Obama or McCain.

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LECTURE 8: SAUDI ARABIA (Lecture date: May 28)

The world's largest producer of oil was catapulted to the status of key player in world affairs almost overnight in the 1930s. Now home to numerous MacDonalds and Starbucks, the country is nonetheless the heartland of the fundamentalist Wahhabis and among the most reactionary regimes in the region. America's entanglements with the Saudis run deep and illustrate key aspects of America's foreign policy.

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LECTURE 9: ISRAEL (Lecture date: June 11)

Born in 1948, the modern nation of Israel has known nothing but fear, loathing, and war from the international community since its inception. By far the most secular of Middle Eastern countries, and the closest ally of the United States in the region, this minute country has faced a continual onslaught of international pressure to facilitate its own dismantlement. It now faces the prospect of nuclear annihilation at the hands of Islamist Iran within the next generation. This lecture will look at the history of Israel, as a way of helping to answer the question of America's proper relationship to it.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
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This lecture will integrate and leverage the sum of the material presented over the previous ten lectures to evaluate the history of the Middle East and America's role in its history, and to predict the future of the region given foreseeable American foreign policy and growing Islamist sentiment in the region.

Yes! Let me hear this entire lecture for only $20!
Check out now...


I'll take the whole course now! Already Purchased One Lecture? Purchased Two So Far?
Regular Price: $249. Get the rest of the course for $229. Get the rest of the course for $209.