The wave of popular uprisings that swept through the Middle East promised to pave the way for democracy. It brought down dictators and captured the popular imagination, but for most of the region, peace and stability remain as elusive today as they have ever been. In this fully revised introduction, Oxford University's Philip Robins takes a close look at the issues plaguing the region. With each chapter focusing on a key theme, Robins weaves together the disparate countries into a coherent and entertaining narrative. From leadership and gender to religion and society, The Middle East: A Beginner's Guide is replete with case studies, astute analysis, profiles of key personalities, and even jokes from the region. There is no better resource for understanding the Middle East, both past and present.