Charles Issawi's collection of essays, Cross-Cultural Encounters and Conflicts, has been written in the belief that a study of the past encounters and conflicts between the world's major cultures can shed light on their nature and importance. Though the emphasis is on the Middle East, of whichIssawi is one of our foremost scholars, the subjects covered here range in scope from the great ancient civilizations to Shelley's passion for the Middle East, from the failures of the Greeks as empire builders to the preeminence of English as an international language today. Other essays examineeither the way in which certain cultures were formed, or the effects of the direct control of one culture over another, or cross-cultural perceptions, most notably the dramatic change in the Western perception of the Orient between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this age of multiculturalism, conflicts between the world's cultures have become a dominant feature of the international landscape. This excellent collection is a much-needed exploration of their historical nature.