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This book is both a history and contemporary analysis. Charting the main turnpoints as the growth of cities, trade routes, the petroleum industry and growth of the authoritarian state the author argues that central bureaucratic control is limiting growth. He describes the state as governed by the interests of the ruling family who continue to block opportunities for social mobility. He is also critical of the lack of a broad, productive base in the economy, the export of capital and its effect on investment in local resources, as well as the technological dependence on the West.

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