i found this book educational as it covered aspects of the middle easts economy, religion, culture and social aspects, as well as education systems. i would therefore recommend it highly to people interested in these specific areas, perhaps for research purposes. however as a layman interested in general history for the sake of history i was a bit disappointed with the book. the book is divided into two sections - the first being exactly what i wanted, a general introduction to the history of the middle east, however this only lasted for about a quater to a third of the book. after this it got a bit too spacific for a general light reader, and became a bit of a struggle to get through. it was however very well researched and put together, and most definatly educational!