Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Political Handbook of the Middle East, 2006

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Political Handbook of the Middle East, 2006

Article excerpt

Political Handbook of the Middle East, 2006. Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Press (http://www .cqpress.com), 1255 22d Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20037,2006,452 pages, $125.00 (hardcover).

Neither a light read nor a work of fiction, Political Handbook is a comprehensive work of detailed documentation on the political background of countries commonly considered as comprising the Middle East. Basically a textbook, it offers ready access to information concerning the political foundation, background, evolution, and current status of this region. The book's wonderful introduction sets the stage for the detailed material to follow and gives the reader a taste of the crisp writing style found throughout. At the end of the book, one finds a treasure chest of useful facts on such important international entities as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, United Nations, Arab League, and Palestine Liberation Organization, to name a few.

Its real value, however, lies in the body of the work, which offers detailed descriptions of the political organization of Middle Eastern countries. For each of the selected 25 nations, the study examines "The Country" (a historical look at its political formation); "Government and Politics" (a view of the political background and issues that molded the country, including a consideration of its constitution and government structure); "Current Issues" (what has recently [within the last five years] occurred in the political realm-in other words, what captures the interest of the current government) ; and "Political Parties and Groups" (a composite snapshot of dominant political organizations). …

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