[Cross-posted from New Books in Middle Eastern Studies] In his new book Qatar: A Modern History (Georgetown University Press, 2012), Dr. Allen Fromherz, a professor at Georgia State University, analyzes the cultural and political forces that have shaped Qatar’s history. Going beyond the common focus on Qatar’s oil economy, Dr. Fromherz discusses Qatar’s formation as an independent state, the effect of its large percentage of expatriate workers, the interaction of the various tribes that govern Qatar, and how the Al-Thani tribe emerged as the top amongst equals. Dr. Fromherz argues that there is far more to the past, present, and future of Qatar than its massive oil wealth. Although it is a small nation with a small native population, Qatar has frequently played an influential role in international affairs. Dr. Fromherz details the many ways in which Qatar has exercised influence around the Middle East in the past, and how they continue to do so now. His book fills a large void in the scholarly literature on Qatar, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the forces that have shaped the history of the Middle East, and how they will influence its future.