The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring Hardcover – 15 Aug 2013
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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 Isreal ... 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 (Traveller)
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 (Prospect)
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 WestSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The events known today as the Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2011 and spread to several other Arab states in North Africa and the Middle East; Egypt, Libya, Iraq and also Syria. Danahar covers all five nations in depth. He also includes very interesting chapters on Israel, the Palestinian issue and also the role of the United States in the whole Middle Eastern saga. The author describes how the Arab Spring seems, so far, to have had a different impact in all the nations it has affected. After initial trauma, following the departure of President Ben Ali, Tunisia was to settle down into a fairly quiet 'democracy' of sorts.
The chapter on Egypt documents the constant, decades long struggle between the national army and the Muslim Brotherhood. After the military takeover in 1952, Nasser and Sadat's rule eventually saw the succession of President Mubarak. A deeply corrupt individual with an eye to having his son, Gamal, succeed him was eventually abandoned by the disapproving army. The subsequent revolution culminated with the election of President Morsi, the Islamist leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, within two years, after an incredibly incompetent tenure by the MB, the army are back in power with President Sisi leading the nation. This appears to have the support of large sections of the population who effectively back the regime they protested against. A democracy...Read more ›
After an introductory overview, Mr Danahar takes a largely country by country approach - Egypt, Israel, Syria, Libya and Iraq each getting chapters - as well as telescoping out to look at the international context (for example with a chapter on America's middle east approaches). He certainly doesn't neglect the Gulf states and their impact either, about which he is often very damning.
I have the kindle edition of this book, admirable for ease of reading, but am contemplating buying a physical edition since it does merit regular returns for reference. I also came to the book with limited existing knowledge of the region and its politics beyond that of interested news watcher - Danahar fills in the gaps and writes, as the journalist he is, with an intent to explain a complex arena succinctly and excitingly to the general reader.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Islam has reigned more or less supreme since the Arab Muslims invaded and conquered the entire area after their hero Muhammad's death. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jennifer
Found this a hard book to read, maybe as its got lots of facts in it & i didn't fully understand. Enjoyed it though as interestingPublished 3 months ago by Annette McDonald
An outstanding book. Essential reading for anyone interested in the world right now. Paul Danahar's knowledge of the Middle East is masterful.Published 3 months ago by LeaR
En excellent and thoroughly researched work, engagingly written for those of us who want to know more but not get bogged down in heavy political tracks.Published 5 months ago by Tracey Christiansen
This is a must to read to understand the complex history of the Middle East. Never form an opinion on what is happening in the Islamic world without first reading this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John
An incredibly complex and interwoven history told clearly and engagingly. This gives clear insight into a world not many in the west understand, now news columns around the Middke... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stephen Allen