Very good overview of the region and part of its history (mainly since the time of Muhammad). As I approached the modern time and the Arab-Israeli conflict (which makes up a big part of the second half), I noticed a lot of inaccuracies, things that were omitted and things that are misrepresented (like taking a most extreme event and preceding it with "for example"). I think the authors wishful thinking got mixed too much with the attempt to describe reality as they approached modern times. Still, it is worth reading, never as the only book on the subject, and with a critical approach.
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