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Shifting Sands is a compelling narrative of American policy in the Middle East since World War II. Joel S. Migdal dissects America's static strategic model in a region that has undergone four periods of profound change. He pushes back against those who would yield to the temptation of writing the Middle East off as beset by endemic instability. Rather, eschewing visions of grand change, Migdal suggests the temperate yet more effective approach of building alliances and fostering gradual change. This is a book to be read by policy makers and students of the Middle East alike.