As one of the world's most volatile areas, the Middle East receives disproportionate media coverage. But this coverage almost invariably presents the events of the day without providing the context needed to understand the implications and meaning of those events. The eighteen articles in this volume, which originally appeared in Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs in 1990 and 1991, provide insight into the context of Middle Eastern events. Arab politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Persian Gulf, and U.S. policy are examined in detail. The main themes covered are security issues such as wars, terrorism, and hostage-taking, and attitudes, including public opinion in Lebanon and the United States and the Israeli security dilemma. Co-published with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.