The developmental record of the states of the Middle East and North Africa is a sprawling subject that could well result in a tedious, fact-filled handbook. This stimulating study has avoided that fate. The facts are here in abundance, expressed in more than 30 tables and figures of comparative data, but they tell a story -- indeed, multiple stories. Categories chosen are not just eye-catching but explanatory: bunker states, bully praetorian states, globalizing monarchies, and fragmented democracies. In a bold insight, the authors compare the reactions of Middle Eastern states to globalization to the reaction of the colonized to colonialism. They also describe the varied stages of development that have marked these diverse states. And the book's division of such states today into "globalizers" versus "moralizers" (such as the Islamists) is more than a deft dichotomy. In fact, it leads into a useful understanding of ongoing political battles. This richly detailed, demanding study deserves a careful reading.