Harris (geography, Univ. of Otago, New Zealand) who contributes the chapter on Lebanon to the annual Middle East Contemporary Survey, has traveled frequently to Lebanon since 1983. This is an exhaustive treatment of a complex subject, with implications for other parts of the world currently torn by sectarian strife. Its main purpose, however, is to interpret the origins, nature, and fate of the Lebanese state and society after 1920 when what would become modern-day Lebanon was artificially created by Britain and France following the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Although a Lebanese entity initially took shape in the 16th century, and three religions have coexisted and competed there since the seventh century, it is the ethnic divisiveness of the 20th century that is relevant to the current international scene. Although the violence ended five years ago, the Lebanese crisis continues; the stability that exists is due to Syrian domination, and sectarianism is as rampant as ever. Though an index would have been useful, this is an excellent book, well written and documented, that contains informed analysis. However, it is a scholarly study only for academic and specialized Middle East or international affairs collections.Ruth K. Baacke, Whatcom Cty. Lib. Sys., Bellingham, Wash.