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4.5 out of 5 stars
39
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 March 2014
This is an interesting and very readable account of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, with references to Lebanon, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Mixing personal reportage style writing with brief analyses of the causes and and key events of the uprisings, Bowen makes clear that they cannot be treated as single movement but are instead a series of localised reactions to authoritarian regimes and hopelessness, connected mainly by the use of social media to bring the rebellions to worldwide attention and to communicate with other resistors to the status quo.

Bowen makes clear that the uprisings, even when they have been successful in deposing rulers, have some distance yet to run before stability is achieved and democatic processes fully established.

This is a readable book, although at times the narrative is a liitle disconnected and seems rushed
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on 28 July 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to find out more about the recent events in the Arab world. As someone who is interested in but sadly not particularly well informed about the politics and history behind events in the Middle East, I found the book was pitched at just the right level. There was enough factual information to feel that I had at least some understanding of the key events leading up to the various revolutions, but not too much to make the book difficult and heavy to read. The experiences and observations of Jeremy Bowen himself also helped to make the book highly readable and unlike some journalists, he writes extremely fluently and engagingly.
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on 28 January 2016
So well written, informative, gripping. It gave a really helpful overview as well as zoning down into how individuals have been affected by these huge events. I hope Jeremy Bowen writes another book soon, covering 2013 onwards
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on 21 March 2017
Excellent
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on 3 February 2013
Jeremy is a familiar and respected reporter but falls down when it comes to analysis. The impressions ofwhat he personally saw and heard are convincing evidence of the people's fervent desire for political change but do not explain the history, the economics and political set-ups or the crucial role of oil in their determination. Jeremy is too much the front-line reporter and not enough the historian and political analyst
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on 15 January 2014
Jeremy Bowen's extensive experience in and around the Middle East and his balanced reporting come together into this excellent book. Without saying it in words of one syllable, he predicts where the Middle East is likely to go next and where that leaves the local players and the world powers. It doesn't look hopeful.

Having spent 4 months in Damascus, I recognise all he says as correct. Also, as he is not a man who can be tricked by 'minders' from and faction, regime or country (or religion), you get the inside view. Fascinating. And all in a very readable and modest style.
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on 24 January 2013
Extremely well written account about some of the most extraordinary and frightening events in the last hundred years. At times it was like reading a novel, the narrative was set out in a wholly engaging way but the reader was never ever allowed to forget that these pages were recording - perhaps prematurely since there could be no neat ending to this story - the desperate lives of ordinary people as well as their powerful leaders. As well as being well written the book shows the huge courage of our war correspondents and hints at the stresses at working in these environments. Like all books published to a deadline one or two errors had not been picked up by the editors. But nothing detracts from the overall brilliance of this book.
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on 31 August 2013
I bought this because I enjoy Jeremy Bowen's news reports and thought this would give me a better insight into what is going on in the Middle East.

There is indeed some really good analysis. For instance I now have a lot more sympathy for Russia's position on Syria because of Bowen's explanation which seems a lot more balanced than what we normally hear.

However I really struggled to keep interested for much of it. It may be that Bowen writes in chunks comparable to his TV reports - but the chunks just don't seem terribly well connected. He jumps from high level analysis to personal interaction with ordinary people he meets on the street, to something happening in a different country.

A number of these chunks really held my attention but many others did not and seemed like they were commentary behind TV images of the conditions and doesn't work so well without those images.

I'd suggest anyone gets a sample first if buying for a Kindle to see if the writing style is OK for you.
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on 4 January 2013
I loved this book, the way it is presented, with first hand experience seamlessly integrated into analysis is excellent. My only qualm, and the reason for it losing a star, is that it feels rushed and not properly proofread, leading to silly but annoying errors. Despite this, it is well worth a read.
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on 27 November 2013
This book is not going to give you a full account of the Arab uprisings, neither a very comprehensive one. If you are an avid follower of those events, then do not expect much more to be added.

However, the brilliance here is that of a personal account of a very experienced journalist, it is a well told story, a personal account, and experience and gut of one of the "old dogs" of Middle East journalism.

Have a read, get to know more about the horrid dictators of the Middle East and the people who rebelled against them.
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