Having lost my first copy, I was keen to get a replacement since Peter Mansfield's ( and Nicolas Pelham's) descriptions of history and relations in the Middle East excel in succinctness, objective observations and its drawing of llines of development towards the present day situation. The book can be considered a sequel to PM's book "The Arabs", a very good introduction to the peoples of the Middle East. A "must read" for interested , in particular for expats living in the region.
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