Virginia Tilley, associate professor of political science, reviewed the book “Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants: The Economic Collapse of the Arab World” by Stephen Glain, for the Boston Globe. Her review ran July 7, and said Glain “brings a sophisticated analytical framework, as well as a discerning eye and a sense of humor.”
According to Tilley, Glain is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who transferred to the Middle East in 1998 from a seven-year stint covering East Asia. He offers a mosaic portrait of a region sliding toward economic crisis, through vignettes and interviews in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Iraq, and Egypt.
“Everywhere, Glain finds friendly, intelligent, and hard-working Arab entrepreneurs whose best efforts are repeatedly thwarted by incompetent or corrupt bureaucracies and the failure of governments to create any efficient banking or credit system,” wrote Tilley. “Interspersed with his lively interviews are segments of history: wars, coups, or colonial interventions that shaped the conditions in which these businesses now flounder. For Glain has bothered, unlike most, to dig into the past to make sense of the present.”
Tilley's book “The One-State Solution: Seeking Peace in the Middle East” is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press.