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The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring

The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring [Kindle Edition]

Paul Danahar
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Danahar weaves a complex narrative into a lively, accessible read, much of which should withstand the passage of time … A solid but easygoing compendium for anyone who wants a read beyond the headlines, done with a journalistic lightness of touch."
Daily Telegraph

"This is a book about what happened after the Arab leaders were toppled in 2011, after the euphoria went flat and people went home again ... The optimistic take on the Arab revolution, though, is that the coups and massacres are part of a messy process that will eventually lead to more democratically responsive societies. This argument threads its way through Danahar's remarkable analysis of the Arab Spring and I would like it to come true ... Danahar, an old Iraq hand, knows his sectarian fault lines and is a good guide. And, exceptionally for an Arabist, he deftly weaves in the problems of Israel ... This is a book that tries to engage with people who can speak for everyone in the Spring, from Brotherhood activists ... To Israeli and Egyptian generals. It is written in a spirit of adventure ... And is all the better for it."
The Times

"The New Middle East is far and away the best book I've read on the effects of the Arab Spring: an excellent amalgamation of the scholarly and the journalistic, which gives it both a magisterial overview and the precision of close-up experience. Country by country Danahar has gone through the most important countries of the region, tracking the causes of change and the likely effects, and each of his judgments seems to me to be precise, enviably clear, thoroughly grounded and highly impressive. The world will move on after The New Middle East, and there will be major new developments, especially in Syria, but this book will continue to offer far more than just a snapshot of a particular moment: it will be a text which I, for one, will come back to again and again in order to understand the future."
John Simpson

"It's hard to think of a senior BBC journalist better placed to write such a fine book on what the Middle East and the world looks like in the wake of the Arab Spring or one that has more insights ... He has managed to achieve what many writers rarely do; to allow the voices of the people he has met, interviewed and worked and travelled with to emerge and to paint a picture of the Arab Spring through their eyes. He has done so in a style that is immediate, accessible and filled with warmth, compassion, realism."
Rageh Omaar

"Reporters who can analyse, and analysts who spent time on the ground, are rare. Time and again in this thorough, provocative and readable work, Danahar shows he combines the best of both. Danahar has spent years on the ground, working in some of the toughest places in the world. But this is no instant journalist's account. Every turned page reveals deep research, powerful argument and a talent for acutely observed detail. Anyone interested in the Middle East, its present, past or future, should read this book."
Jason Burke

"There is lots of writing about the Middle East, much of it muddle-headed and ludicrously partial. It leaves you longing for a book that is clear-headed, honest and intelligent. Paul Danahar has produced such a book. His narrative spans a turbulent time but throughout all the upheavals and horrors he witnesses Danahar is a calm and intelligent witness. There is also great humanity in this excellent book. One is never allowed to forget that the Arab Spring is a narrative of people in extremis."
Fergal Keane

"Danahar's account has the pacey urgency and vivid colour of on-the-day news reporting ... he gives coherence and shape to the historic shifts taking place. He has a talent for shutting the noise of extraneous detail and laying bare the big picture. This book is trenchant, opinionated, blunt, entertaining and pleasingly readable. If you want a thorough accessible account of what has been going on in the Arab world over the last decade - and the historical context that gave rise to it - look no further."
Allan Little

"He reports perceptively on the internal contradictions of the Jewish state, from militant settlers to the ultraorthodox Haredim."
Christopher de Bellaigue, Guardian

"A timely exploration of an unstable region still on the brink of change and revolution."

"Are you confused by the welter in the Middle East, headlines crowded with revolution and coup, Islamism, civil war and resurgent jihad? May I recommend Paul Danahar's excellent regional survey, The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring? Danahar is the BBC's Middle East bureau chief, experienced and clear eyed. His style is crisp and elegant, equally adept at telling human portraits as interviewing generals and presidents and sketching historical context ... The events of the Arab Spring and its aftermath will continue to defy prediction; but in the meantime, it's worth reading Danahar to take stock of some of the geopolitical tectonic shifts and the forces that are remaking our old assumptions."

Book Description

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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1039 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (15 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D7C7FVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Paul Danahar was the BBC's Middle East Bureau Chief between 2010-2013 and ran the organisation's award winning news coverage of the Arab Spring.

He was awarded an MBE in 2003 for his work as the Baghdad Bureau Chief during the American-led invasion. Prior to his present posting he was the BBC's East Asia Bureau Chief for three years, and previous to that he was the BBC's South Asia Bureau Chief, covering the rise, fall and eventual return of the Taliban. He is one of a small number of journalists to have reported from all three countries that make up the so-called 'Axis of Evil': Iraq, Iran and North Korea. In the summer of 2013 he moved to Washington DC to become the BBC's Americas Bureaux Chief

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very interesting and lucidly presented book giving background to the various "arab springs" informing on the directly involved countries and supplying much pertinent information on other countries associated with those directly involved in the uprisings. In the main the book is up to date except that the changes involving the removal of (ex) President Morsi in Egypt means that the author's commentary on Egypt which ends shortly after Morsi's appointment, is rendered incomplete; his comments on other involved countries remain valid (up to today -5 Nov 2013!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading on an essential region 8 May 2014
This is the one book on the Middle East that anyone with a glimmer of interest in global affairs needs to read. It's just as essential for those who engage with the region on a daily basis. Veteran BBC journalist Paul Danahar has won accolades and honours for his reporting from Mesopotamia to the Mahghreb. This work will add to an existing impressive record of insightful journalism. It's about a Middle East that is still emerging from what -- misleadingly -- came to be known as the "Arab Spring". The upheaval began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and Libya and continues to convulse Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Not to mention Israel which both watches and participates in the affairs of neighbouring countries as a matter of survival and long habit. Combining journalists' anecdotes with penetrating analysis, Danahar moves effortlessly around the most militarized region in the world and exposes its worst excesses and the toll of human beings. There's also humour, pathos and flashes of inspiration and hope amid the tumult. Few reporters manage to pull off this delicate balance, venturing too far towards travel memoir or dry academic synthesis. Not Danahar who sets new standards in a well trodden genre. We eagerly await his next collection of reportage, perhaps from his current base in the Americas, or the lively political and economic landscapes of India and China where he honed his journalistic skills as a younger journalist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading 23 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started this book with trepidation because of course it couldn't possibly compete with Robert Fisk, 'The Great War for Civilisation' could it?! Well, I think it does. For anyone interested in the politics of the Middle East, it's required reading and I couldn't beleive how up to date it was; Paul Danahar must have had the manuscript ripped from his hands to send to printing, the stuff on Egypt was so up to date. Sadly, it was published after the recent chemical attack in Syria however the chapter on Iraq provides a pertinent reminder of what happens when foreign armies and foreign governments decide to indulge in 'regime change'. The great thing about this book is that you don;t have to have a great deal of knowledge about the region or it's politics and it's a great general read (it is not an academic tome). The historical, cultural and religious context was exactly at the right level. I'd like to see his next book (if I might be so bold) covering the Gulf Monarchies, Iran, the aftermath of Syria and (in'shallah) the Israel / Palestine Peace Process.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative 5 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gave me a good view on the outlook for the Middle East, at least as seen by the author. While I had done a certain amount of reading about the region, I learned quite a bit from this book. If I had to fault it slightly, I found the author repeated himself a bit, making the same point several times. However, that aside, I liked the book, enjoyed reading it, and was surprised (and enlightened) by much of the content, realising that there are many more complexities to the societies in the region than in the picture portrayed in the media. Well worth a read, and good value given how informative it is.
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By John
A superbly engaging read. Paul Danahar has witnessed first hand most of the key moments of the last 2 and half years of upheaval across the Middle East. Pithy, clear, compassionate, well sourced and sometimes with a welcome dose of dry humour. The repercussions of the events of "the Arab Spring" will be felt for decades and it could be longer before the dust finally settles. But this book is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to get to grips with the New Middle East. Students of the region and Universities around the world should get it on their recommended reading lists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this book. 12 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book extremely interesting and easy to read considering the seriousness of the subject matter - excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars compulsory reading 30 Sep 2013
By Pukeka
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anybody interested in current affairs should read this book. Most informative and beautifully written. I am more than likely to read it again. The chapters dealing with Israel and USA politics were most interesting and helped to understand better the events that are taking place in the Middle East. I hope Paul Denahar writes an update in the near future, as things are moving so fast.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
"The collapse of the old order has left the West scrambling to make sense of a region it hardly recognises. If the people of the Arab world can now speak openly for the first time, then it is also the West's first chance to listen. And there are many questions to be answered."

For anyone who is interested in how the Middle East shapes global politics, this book is required reading. But the breadth and depth of this impressive book's evaluation makes it equally essential for the world leaders and power brokers themselves. Writing in eminently readable, unintimidating prose, Paul Danahar gives us a formidable study of a region that is as complicated as a game of chess and as delicate as a game of jenga.

Chapter by chapter, Mr Danahar gives us a comprehensive breakdown of each of the key countries in the area and takes us through the background and countless complicating factors and factions that have led to this pivotal moment in their histories. The introduction alone is worth the price of admission.

Paul Danahar has lived and worked in all the countries he writes about over many years so he really knows whereof he speaks and there are many direct quotes from key players. President Shimon Peres tells the author: "President Obama asked me 'Who is against democracy in the Middle East?' I answered him, 'The husbands.'"

The deftness of Mr Danahar's touch also provides some memorable phrases: On the middle classes in Tunisia: "...when trouble breaks out their instincts are normally to moan, not to march.....[but] if the flashy neighbours are showing off with your money, the gardening gloves come off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Expats
This is an excellent book with which to fill out the many gaps in our understanding left after the ongoing barrage of news reports we see. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stuart Park
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic text on The Arab Spring and beyond for years to come
With a relentless day to day proximity to chaotic events across the region as they unfolded, Paul Danahar has written the book I expect many armchair experts wish they had - a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mugsy M
1.0 out of 5 stars Riddled with misprints. A disgrace.
The Kindle edition of this book is disgraceful. I am having to stop reading after only a few pages. For example, the first mention of the city of "Homs" spells it as "Horns". Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kish Logan
4.0 out of 5 stars The New Middle East
A prompt delivery from Amazon. The book was disappointing in that the many interesting facts it contained seemed rather disorganised and made it difficult to get a good overview... Read more
Published 10 months ago by J. C. Gittins
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Mr Danahar superbly describes the events in the Middle East and clarifies the complexities of the situation in each featured country.
Published 13 months ago by Michael Ladkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe this guy works for the BBC
I got this book from the library completely by chance. I thought I had read all I needed to read about the Middle East but it wasn't going to cost me anything so I gave it a try. Read more
Published 14 months ago by GeorgeMK
5.0 out of 5 stars Circumstances very well presented and described.
Excellent description of the resulting chaotic situation following the so-called Arab Spring and the likely outcome around the Middle East.
Published 15 months ago by Brian M.
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