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A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS

by Robert F. Worth

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973215,727 (4.17)None
"A closely-reported work of literary journalism on the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath"--
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I’m chary of ‘literary journalism’ claims (once bitten, twice shy), but yeah. At times this acts like a tragic novel. A few of its human portraits are art + reality.

Interspersed is introductory material, so you don’t lose your footing even if you’re not up with current events (me) or with history.

Neither the ecstasy of the attempt, or the sadness of its failure, are smudged over or sacrificed one to the other.

I felt funny about some sentences, which inhibits me from 5*.

I read it in an afternoon and evening; it’s short and novelesque enough to want to do so. ( )
  Jakujin | Aug 31, 2017 |
Worth's book is concise and at times quite personal look at the Arab Spring of 2011 and its aftermath. although I followed events in Egypt closely in 2011 and succeeding years, I learned a good deal from his account. I particularly liked his sections on Yemen, perhaps because I know some Yemeni students stranded here by the ongoing proxy war in their country. I had not known, for example, that a Gandhian nonviolent movement preceded the civil war and continued to work for peace and justice until after the Iranian and Saudi government began intervening. ( )
  nmele | Apr 11, 2017 |
This is a brief and valuable look back at the Arab Spring, the resulting failure of Islamacist governments, and the rise of ISIS (excellent timeline included). Each country - Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, and Libya - had been saddled with autocratic dictators for many years, and there seemed to be little exposure to democratic processes or reforms. The personalities and actions of leaders and common people are both explored and explained. In most cases, the repressed religious organizations - like the Muslim Brotherhood - rose to power as theirs were the most familiar names to citizens who had lived under strict repression for so long. The big powers of Iran and Saudi Arabia play out their own struggles for power by using their militaries and weapons to squelch rights and improvement in lives. It's just as seemingly hopeless as the situation with Afghanistan, with Yemen specifically still ruled by tribal leaders. I hope that Europe and the US can continue to help refugees, but there is just no way forward. ( )
  froxgirl | Jan 10, 2017 |
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