Arabian Plights


Anyone can tell you the Middle East is a political quagmire. What not many people can tell you is exactly why. Dissections of the history and importance of the region in world affairs have usually been slanted towards a certain economic sphere (oil) or political ideology (with clear good guys and bad guys).

Rodgers’ book is a great primer for the region and everything that’s wrong with it, including the poisonous grip it holds over the economy of the rest of the world. He plainly outlines the cornerstones that underpin Arabian history and explains how they’ve resulted in the culturally and politically stalled states we have today.

So it’s a great reference for readers from a man who’s in the know (Rodgers is a former Australian ambassador to Israel), but it’s — perhaps rightly — pessimistic, predicting war between Israel and Palestine for at least two more decades. More depressingly, Rodgers doesn’t seem to have a realistic solution to suggest, and when no obvious answer occurs to a man with as good a grasp on the problem as he has, you’ll be left wondering if the book’s purpose is to merely to numb us all with helplessness.


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