Middle East scholar Halliday (London Sch. of Economics; Islam and the Myth of Confrontation) would disagree with the popular press's depiction of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as a monolith called Islam confronting another monolith called the West. Only the first and last essays in this nuanced collection were written after the attack. For the rest of the book, Halliday has cobbled together previous writings on the "West Asian crisis" (covering the crescent from Palestine to Pakistan), the many natures of terrorism, and the West's long history of "anti-Muslimism." These essays are richly illustrated with both historical and contemporary analogies that will appeal to an erudite reader. At first glance, some essays may appear unrelated to the September 11 attack, but in fact they help give the terrible events a kind of context. Informed readers will find this collection helpful. Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.