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The Middle East is notorious in the West for many reasons; few of them are positive. Synonymous with terrorism, oil riches, bad governance, corruption, and conflict, it has led many Western commentators to write it off as both backward and insular.
In this pioneering introduction, Oxford University’s Philip Robins argues that the region is plagued by the same problems that afflict the rest of the developing world. With each chapter focusing on a topic essential to a rounded understanding of the region, Robins weaves together the disparate countries into a coherent and entertaining narrative. From leadership and gender to religion and society, The Middle East: A Beginner’s Guide is replete with case studies, astute analysis, profiles of key personalities, and even jokes from the region. There is no better resource for understanding the modern Middle East.
Philip Robins is Reader in Middle East Politics at Oxford University. He is the author of A History of Jordan and has previously worked as a journalist for the BBC and The Guardian. Dr. Robins also founded of the Middle East Programme at Chatham House.