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The Arab World Today

Fifth Edition

Scholars and the concerned public have long relied on William Polk for comprehensive and insightful analysis of the culture and politics of the Arab world. The Arab World Today, a thoroughly revised and expanded version of earlier editions, including The Arab World of the American Foreign Policy Library, covers recent developments such as the growth of population, differing rates of industrialization, Egyptian-Israeli peace efforts, the Lebanese maelstrom, terrorism, the impact of Islamic fundamentalism, and the enormous influence of the ever-changing oil market on economic and political life. In addition, the book examines the rarely analyzed but significant cultural, social, and geopolitical developments that are crucial determinants of recent happenings, and includes the best available statistics and information, from which Polk reevaluates and recasts outmoded perceptions.


A balanced, extremely informative and fair-minded work.

William Polk has published exactly that solid, illuminating synthesis we have long lacked, and which those studying and acting in public affairs ought to read first about the Arab world.

It is the depth of Professor Polk's historical and cultural presentation and the breadth of his economic, social, and political analysis that distinguish this volume from the plethora of journalistic commentary on the subject and make it a true 'classic.'

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Edition: 5th ed. Reprint 2014
Audience: Professional and scholarly;