The Middle East is rich in history and saturated in blood. This small section of the world the birthplace of three great religions has become a tinderbox, where cultures clash in seemingly endless rounds of violence. Now "Time" explains the current crises in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza by illuminating the complicated history of this fascinating, tortured region and profiling the swirl of cultures, religions and ideologies that drive its key players. Here is the story of the Middle East in our times, from the founding of Israel to the advent of the Islamist terrorists. Here are the answers to the questions concerned Americans are asking: Why do they fight? How can the region's tensions be resolved? Who will shape the future? Where can we look for hope? And, most important, when if ever will we see peace in the Middle East? Rich with "Time's" brilliant photo journalism, this volume brings perspective, understanding and insightful analysis to the world's foremost hot spot: the Middle East's crescent of crisis.