An essential tool for understanding the Middle East and its pivotal role in global politics, this book lays bare the complexity of the region - its emergence from fallen empires, the shaping of its current contours by oil and outside intervention, the wave of change that broke in 2011, and the violence that has swept the region since. With his customarily acute analysis, Dan Smith, author of The State of the World Atlas,uncovers the web of fault-lines that underlies the Middle East. Using maps and graphics, he demonstrates why recent events have occurred and why they have an impact on us all. This atlas explores and lays bare the complexity of the region, looking at how it emerged out of the history of fallen empires, how oil and outside intervention have shaped its current contours, where it stood as the wave of change broke in 2011, and the impact of violent conflict throughout. It uses maps, graphics, chronologies and analysis to offer a fair and tough-minded look at what lies behind a moment of change and hope.