ISIS, Islam, and the Politics of the Middle East

Andrew Hertig

Thursdays, October 5 - Noember 16 (not October 26) 10:00 a.m. - noon 6 sessions
King's Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street

The persistent turmoil in the Middle East has forced us all to attempt some understanding of this complicated and confusing situation. American boots on the ground have failed to produce in Iraq a stable, functioning state, let alone a democratic one. Our more limited intervention in Libya has been even less successful, leaving that troubled country without a functioning government and a growing Islamist insurgency. What, then, should be done about the Syrian Civil War which, with no end in sight, has produced countless deaths, a flood of refugees, and the brutal Islamic State?    

This course will attempt to address the dilemma of the Middle East. In search of insight, but with no promise of answers, we will discuss ISIS, its relationship to Islam, and its connection to the underlying political and social trends affecting the major countries of the region. Each session will be in the form of a conversation based on a short reading assignment and influenced strongly by the current events of the day. Come with questions and thoughts to share with the group.

Teaching Style: Seminar     Weekly Preparation: 1 hour

    Andrew Hertig

    Andrew Hertig recently retired from Phillips Exeter Academy where he taught history for  45 years and served as chair of the History Department and dean of faculty. He has an A.B. degree from Harvard and an M.A. in U.S. History from UC Berkeley. For over a decade, he has taught a course at Exeter on the history of the modern Middle East.