The spirit of nationalism and self-determination swept through the Arab nations in the aftermath of World War II, as it did elsewhere in the world. The new men of the Arab world - Nasser, Ben Bella and others - saw a great future, yet modernity has ...
not found suitable expression. In no Arab country today is there democratic process, freedom of speech, or security, guaranteed by law, for the individual or for property. Despite technical assistance and aid flowing into Arab countries and the stupendous wealth produced from oil, the vast majority of ordinary Arabs remain poor and violence is endemic. The author argues with extraordinary persuasiveness that the Arabs are caught in a closed circle from which they have not been able to escape, a circle defined by deeply rooted tribalism, religious and cultural traditions. It gives a completely new understanding of processes and events in the Middle East.