Examines the growth and transformation of the Middle East economy during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The text looks at how the region's economic structures were fundamentally altered by the growing impact of European trade and finance, and by the internal reforms of the rulers of Egypt. It also examines in detail the impact of this process on the four central areas of the Middle East. The result, the author argues, was the creation of a fixed pattern of agricultural, industrial and financial activity. The states formed after the collapse of teh Ottoman Empire found that altering this pattern in their attempts to promote a less dependent form of development was frought with difficulty; and the problems they faced and their different approaches are still highly relevant to the Middle East's economic development today.