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An Oxford professor of international relations finds answers in a historical context that is often overlooked. With a special focus on the last half-century, he illuminates the four phases of external involvement - Ottoman, European, Superpower, and American - that have molded the political evolution of the Middle East. He assesses the past roles of Britain, France, and the former Soviet Union, clarifies how power and influence have shifted in the aftermath of the Cold War, and appraises both the recurrent myopia of the United States and the country's essential function as a mediator. Shrewd, witty, and highly readable, this book offers invaluable insights for the student and general reader about one of the most volatile subsystems of international politics.
"Remarkable...breathtaking in its scope and historical precision, this is highly recommended volume for both publivc and academic libraries.Library Journal.