OVERRIDE

Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants

The Economic Collapse of the Arab World

St. Martin's Griffin

Named Top Book of the Year by theGlobalist.com

A thousand years ago, a vast Arab empire stretched from the Asian steppe across the Mediterranean to Spain, pioneering new technologies, sciences, art, and culture. Arab traders and Arab currencies dominated the global economy in ways Western multinationals and the dollar do today. A thousand years later, Arab states are in decay. Official corruption and ineptitude have eroded state authority and created a vacuum that militant Islam has rushed to fill.

A former Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Glain takes us on a journey through the heart of what were once the great Islamic caliphates—the countries now known as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt—to illustrate how a once prosperous and enlightened civilization finds itself at the precipice of a Dark Age.

As late as a century ago, the Levant was a flourishing trading bloc. By the 1920s, the imperial powers had Balkanized and plundered the Levantine economy by carving it into a cluster of proxy states and emirates. The backlash that followed replaced Europe's lackeys with homegrown autocrats who rejected economic openness and religious tolerance, qualities that made the old Islamic caliphates great.

The Arab world has opted out of the global economy, with tragic consequences. The Bush administration's efforts to mold the Middle East into a centerpiece of democracy will fail, Glain argues, unless it first rehabilitates the Arab world's once-mighty middle class. Short of that, there is little the United States or its European partners can do to rebuild a region the West did so much to undermine.

Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants is a story of both hope and despair, an intimate account of how the Arab world—once the spearhead of what we call globalization—is torn between courageous reformers who would revive the region and a corrupt establishment that would preside over its collapse.

REVIEWS

Praise for Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants

"Steve Glain has written a wonderful book about the Middle East; beautifully written and well-reported. A shelf full of other books have explained the politics and religious tensions of the region, but none have taken Glain's holistic approach to incorporate... an understanding of how the economies of Middle Eastern countries have also contributed to the region's malaise. This approach does much to help our understanding of the countries that Glain has done such stellar reporting from: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq." - Peter Bergen, bestselling author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Stephen Glain joined The Wall Street Journal in 1991. From 1998 to 2001, he was the Journal's Middle East correspondent, based in Amman, Jordan. He now covers the Middle East for The Boston Globe.
BACK

COMMUNITY

TheHistoryReader.com

    MORE BLOG POSTS
    BACK

    BUY THE BOOK

    Available Formats and Book Details

    Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants

    The Economic Collapse of the Arab World

    • Trade Paperback

    BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

    BACK

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's Griffin

    BACK