A Rage for Order
Author: Robert F. Worth
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The definitive work of literary journalism on the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath In 2011, a wave of revolution spread through the Middle East as protesters demanded an end to tyranny, corruption, and economic decay. From Egypt to Yemen, a generation of young Arabs insisted on a new ethos of common citizenship. Five years later, their utopian aspirations have taken on a darker cast as old divides reemerge and deepen. In one country after another, brutal terrorists and dictators have risen to the top. A Rage for Order is the first work of literary journalism to track the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. In the style of V. S. Naipaul and Lawrence Wright, the distinguished New York Times correspondent Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits. We meet a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the Qaddafi-regime torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a poetry-writing, dungeon-operating chieftain; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy. Combining dramatic storytelling with an original analysis of the Arab world today, A Rage for Order captures the psychic and actual civil wars raging throughout the Middle East, and explains how the dream of an Arab renaissance gave way to a new age of discord.
A Rage for Order
Author: Robert F. Worth
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
In 2011, a wave of revolution spread through the Middle East as protesters demanded an end to tyranny, corruption and economic decay. From Egypt to Yemen, a generation of young Arabs insisted on a new ethos of common citizenship. Their bravery and idealism stirred observers around the world and led militant jihadists to worry that they had been superseded by a new and peaceful uprising. Five years later, the utopian aspirations of 2011 have darkened. In one country after another, brutal terrorists and dictators have risen to the top as old divides reemerge and deepen. Egypt has become a more repressive police state than ever before; Libya, Syria and Yemen endure civil war and the extremists of ISIS have spread chaos and carnage across the region, and beyond it. A Rage for Order tracks the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. Writing with bold literary ambition, the distinguished New York Times correspondent Robert F. Worth introduces a riveting cast of characters. We meet a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a poetry-writing, dungeon-operating chieftain; two young Syrian women whose close friendship devolves into enmity as their sects go to war; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy. In a final chapter, Worth tells the moving story of the two eighty-something statesmen whose unlikely camaraderie allowed Tunisia to escape its neighbours' worst fates. Combining dramatic storytelling with an original analysis of the Arab world today, A Rage for Order captures the psychological and actual civil wars raging throughout the Middle East and explains how the dream of an Arab renaissance gave way to a new age of discord.
The New Middle East
Author: Paul Danahar
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
BBC bureau chief Paul Danahar sets out the new order in the Middle East following the Arab Spring, and explains what it will mean both for the region and the West. For the past forty years the story of the Middle East has been simple. The news images flashing across our TV screens from the Middle East provoked anger, outrage and, sometimes military action from the international community. But now the handful of dictators who ruled over hundreds of millions of people with an iron fist are locked up, exiled, fighting for their lives or buried in unmarked graves, leaving behind countries in turmoil. Saddam Hussein, Assad, Ben Ali, Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak all lived lives of cartoonish excess, stalked their own people, snatched them from their beds and murdered them before their children. The West propped these men up because, so the story went, the alternative was states falling under the influence of the communist block or later into the arms of radical Islam. That narrative of the old Middle East lasted as long as the old Arab dictators did. But now these men are gone. In 2011 the people of the western world realised for the first time that the people of the Arab world weren't all brooding fanatics who needed to be kept in check by a reign of terror. If now is the first time that they can speak openly then it is also our first chance to listen. We can ask what kind of societies they are going to build and learn how their decisions will change our lives. The countries engulfed by the Arab Spring -Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria - are on a journey from dictatorship to democracy and together they will shape a New Middle East. Danahar also reveals the quiet but equally profound revolution going in Israel where tensions between religious and secular Jews are threatening the fabric of society. He investigates how that and the changing regional dynamics while shape the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Author: Ashraf Khalil
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
A definitive, absorbing account of the Egyptian revolution, written by a Cairo-based Egyptian-American reporter for Foreign Policy and The Times (London), who witnessed firsthand Mubarak's demise and the country's efforts to build a democracy In early 2011, the world's attention was riveted on Cairo, where after three decades of supremacy, Hosni Mubarak was driven from power. It was a revolution as swift as it was explosive. For eighteen days, anger, defiance, and resurgent national pride reigned in the streets---protestors of all ages struck back against police and state security, united toward the common goal of liberation. But the revolution was more than a spontaneous uprising. It was the end result of years of mounting tension, brought on by a state that shamelessly abused its authority, rigging elections, silencing opposition, and violently attacking its citizens. When revolution bloomed in the region in January 2011, Egypt was a country whose patience had expired---with a people suddenly primed for liberation. As a journalist based in Cairo, Ashraf Khalil was an eyewitness to the perfect storm that brought down Mubarak and his regime. Khalil was subjected to tear gas alongside protestors in Tahrir Square, barely escaped an enraged mob, and witnessed the day-to-day developments from the frontlines. From the halls of power to the back alleys of Cairo, he offers a one-of-a-kind look at a nation in the throes of an uprising. Liberation Square is a revealing and dramatic look at the revolution that transformed the modern history of one of the world's oldest civilizations.
The Shah's Last Ride
Author: William Shawcross
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Chronicles the events leading to the fall of the last reigning monarch of the Peacock Thorne, detailing the excesses of his court, the rise of the Ayatollah, and his abdiction and life as refugee
Inside the Middle East
Author: Avi Melamed
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Acclaimed Israeli intelligence analyst Avi Melamed has spent more than thirty years interpreting Middle East affairs. His long-awaited Inside the Middle East challenges widely-accepted perceptions and provides a gripping and uniquely enlightening guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region—to answer how the Arab world got to this point, what is currently happening, what the ramifications will be, how they will affect Israel, and what actions must immediately be undertaken, including how Western leaders need to respond. Melamed considers all the major power players in the Middle East, explains the underlying issues, and creates a three-dimensional picture, an illustration that connects the dots and provides a fascinating roadmap. He elucidates developments such as the Arab Spring, the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rise of ISIS, the epic Sunni-Shiite animosity, the essence of the war in Syria, the role of the Caliphate and Jihad, and the looming nuclear arms race. He also provides a rare opportunity to journey into the psyche of Arab society. Look through the lens of its leaders and its most ruthless terrorists. See what makes them tick and what they want. Discover how they can be overtaken. This unparalleled volume is a milestone in our understanding of the Middle East. It is the untold story of the struggles that will shape the region, and the world, for decades to come, and a groundbreaking guide that will shake you to the core, force you to reevalute your outlook, and give you tips to navigate the future. From author Avi Melamed: The conflicts in the Middle East grow more confusing and dangerous every day. In my encounters with thousands of people from across the world - from global leaders to high school students - I know there is deep and intense thirst for knowledge because today understanding the Middle East is not optional – it’s mandatory. My new book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth is based on my decades of advisory, counterterrorism, education, and intelligence – positions - as well as my intimate connections throughout the Arab world. The book also provides the building blocks and database to understand the contemporary Middle East, offers a unique insight into the Arab world, and is “a GPS to help you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East.” In the book, I also offer an out of the box idea that could lead to a positive breakthrough in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
By examining the system of authoritarianism in eight Arab republics, Joseph Sassoon portrays life under these regimes and explores the mechanisms underpinning their resilience. How did the leadership in these countries create such enduring systems? What was the economic system that prolonged the regimes' longevity, but simultaneously led to their collapse? Why did these seemingly stable regimes begin to falter? This book seeks to answer these questions by utilizing the Iraqi archives and memoirs of those who were embedded in these republics: political leaders, ministers, generals, security agency chiefs, party members, and business people. Taking a thematic approach, the book begins in 1952 with the Egyptian Revolution and ends with the Arab uprisings of 2011. It seeks to deepen our understanding of the authoritarianism and coercive systems that prevailed in these countries and the difficult process of transition from authoritarianism that began after 2011.
This multidisciplinary text aims to introduce students to the Middle East as a whole, rather than focusing on specific topics. The issues it addresses include history, politics, women, international relations, religion, literature and culture.
The New Arab Wars
Author: Marc Lynch
Marc Lynch's last book, The Arab Uprising, described the then ongoing revolutionary change and prospect for the consolidation of democracy in key Arab countries that still seemed possible. But Lynch saw dark signs on the horizon, especially in Syria. That book ended with the hope that the Arab uprisings heralded a fundamental change over the long-term, but with the warning that Arab regimes would not easily give up their power. Instead, Egypt’s revolution has given way to a military coup; Libya’s produced a failed state; Yemen is the battleground for a proxy war and will be destroyed; Syria has become a sprawling humanitarian catastrophe that will take a generation to begin to recover from. At the same time, America has less and less reason to want to engage with the region and now has only one functional ally apart from Israel. The New Arab Wars describes how the political landscape of an entire region has been convulsed, with much of it given over to anarchy, as proxy wars on behalf of three competing powers—Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia—scar the region. It is a brutal, compelling story.
Author: Scott Anderson
From the bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia, a piercing account of how the contemporary Arab world came to be riven by catastrophe since the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region’s profound unraveling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. From this investigation emerges a rare view into a land in upheaval through the eyes of six individuals—the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family; a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties; a Kurdish physician from a prominent warrior clan; a Syrian university student caught in civil war; an Iraqi activist for women’s rights; and an Iraqi day laborer-turned-ISIS fighter. A probing and insightful work of reportage, Fractured Lands offers a penetrating portrait of the contemporary Arab world and brings the stunning realities of an unprecedented geopolitical tragedy into crystalline focus.
Author: Jack Shenker
Publisher: New Press, The
In The Egyptians, journalist Jack Shenker uncovers the roots of the uprising that succeeded in toppling Hosni Mubarak, one of the Middle East’s most entrenched dictators, and explores a country now divided between two irreconcilable political orders. Challenging conventional analyses that depict contemporary Egypt as a battle between Islamists and secular forces, The Egyptians illuminates other, equally important fault lines: far-flung communities waging war against transnational corporations, men and women fighting to subvert long-established gender norms, and workers dramatically seizing control of their own factories. Putting the Egyptian revolution in its proper context as an ongoing popular struggle against state authority and economic exclusion, The Egyptians explains why the events of the past five years have proved so threatening to elites both inside Egypt and abroad. As Egypt’s rulers seek to eliminate all forms of dissent, seeded within the rebellious politics of Egypt’s young generation are big ideas about democracy, sovereignty, social justice, and resistance that could yet change the world.
The New Arabs
Author: Juan Cole
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Renowned blogger and Middle East expert Juan Cole takes us “inside the youth movements in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, showing us how activists used technology and social media to amplify their message and connect with like-minded citizens” (The New York Times) in this “rousing study of the Arab Spring” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. In The New Arabs he has written “an elegant, carefully delineated synthesis of the complicated, intertwined facets of the Arab uprisings,” (Kirkus Reviews), illuminating the role of today’s Arab youth—who they are, what they want, and how they will affect world politics. Not all big groups of teenagers and twenty-somethings necessarily produce historical movements centered on their identity as youth, with a generational set of organizations, symbols, and demands rooted at least partially in the distinctive problems of people their age. The Arab Millennials did. And, in a provocative, big-picture argument about the future of the Arab world, The New Arabs shows just how they did it. “Engaging, powerful, and comprehensive…The book feels as indispensable to scholars as it is insightful for a more casual reader” (Los Angeles Times).
This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime’s brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people’s lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.
The Battle for Syria
Author: Christopher Phillips
Publisher: Yale University Press
An unprecedented analysis of the crucial but underexplored roles the United States and other nations have played in shaping Syria's ongoing civil war Most accounts of Syria's brutal, long-lasting civil war focus on a domestic contest that began in 2011 and only later drew foreign nations into the escalating violence. Christopher Phillips argues instead that the international dimension was never secondary but that Syria's war was, from the very start, profoundly influenced by regional factors, particularly the vacuum created by a perceived decline of U.S. power in the Middle East. This precipitated a new regional order in which six external protagonists--the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar--have violently competed for influence, with Syria a key battleground. Drawing on a plethora of original interviews, Phillips constructs a new narrative of Syria's war. Without absolving the brutal Bashar al-Assad regime, the author untangles the key external factors which explain the acceleration and endurance of the conflict, including the West's strategy against ISIS. He concludes with some insights on Syria and the region's future.
Author: Eric Trager
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Despite playing a marginal role in the spectacular 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's reign, how did the Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly in Egypt? And why did the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, fall from power only 891 days after Mubarak in the face of widespread protests and then a bloody military coup? In Arab Fall, Eric Trager examines the decisionmaking of the Brotherhood and their political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, throughout this critical period and answers why their time in power was so short. Based in part on interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to their rapid downfall. While the organization's hierarchical structure allowed them unparalleled mobilizing capabilities, their autocratic governing style alienated much of the population and united diverse groups against them. Their insularity also left them entirely unprepared for the military coup and crackdown in July and August 2013. Trager concludes the book with an assessment the current state of Egyptian politics and whether or not the Brotherhood will reemerge in the future.