Halliday (international relations, London School of Economics) has proven one of the most wide-ranging and sophisticated analysts of the Middle East, and this collection of essays shows both those traits. His topics range from grandly theoretical articles ("Liberal Theory and the Middle East") to trip reports ("Saudi Arabia 1997: A Family Business in Trouble"). Halliday's Marxism is still apparent ("The Middle East of today has been formed, above all, by the workings of modern capitalism") but muted by experience and knowledge. In some ways, it is refreshing, being the old fashioned sort of left-wingism focusing on economics rather than on gender and race, calling for universal norms and capable of pulling off detailed scholarship that charms as well as instructs (e.g., a study of the Arab merchants who settled and prospered in Manchester, England, in the 19th century). Though well written, the essays are complex and probably best left to graduate students and above.