The war in question is a stalemated civil war which began in 1962 between the royalists of Yemen (financed by Saudi Arabia) and republican insurgents (supported by Nasser). The causes and implications of the conflict have been little discussed in the U.S. and the character of the Yemeni people is little understood. Schmidt compensates with a flood of background data and reportage based on his meetings with the royalists and visits to the republicans. His account (which goes up through early 1968) stresses the liberal views of Mohamed bin Hussein, a leader of the supposedly reactionary princes. But Schmidt (a New York Times correspondent) characterizes the war in general as a struggle between ""traditionalists"" and progressives, a struggle exploited by both great-power factions, though he claims that the U.S. has failed to see the potentialities for a Mideastern Cuba. The book remains a rather parochial study for lack of serious socioeconomic and geopolitical analysis: it offers long range value as a source of data, but general readers will quite sensibly bypass it.