Gottfried brings Libya's colorful political history to life in a well-written, in-depth summary that's remarkable for its balance in treating an avowed enemy of the US. After drawing readers' interest with examples of Libyan hostility toward America, he provides just enough background information (mentioning an American invasion in 1803) to set the stage for a thorough description of Muammar el-Qaddafi's rise to power and subsequent rule. While thoroughly condemning Libyan aggression and support of terrorism, Gottfried is careful to mention Qaddafi's social reforms, particularly the improvement in the status of women. Enlightening and informative. B&w photos; a few source notes; extensive chronology; basic ""Facts About Libya""; ""Recommended Reading"" (adult); index.