John Waterbury

Capsule Review
2015
John Waterbury

Cambanis’ remarkable account of Egypt’s 2011 uprising and 2013 counterrevolution is built on his firsthand reporting. His analysis is sharp, and he does not hold back when it comes to graphically depicting the Egyptian state’s violence against its own people.

Capsule Review
2015
John Waterbury

The portrait of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood that emerges from this lively book is hardly flattering, highlighting the group’s anti-intellectualism and its emphasis on faith and action over analysis.

Capsule Review
2015
John Waterbury

Barnes argues that water scarcity in Egypt is not a “given” but rather “made,” through the interactions of bureaucrats, donors, and consumers.

Capsule Review
2015
John Waterbury

Mouline takes readers inside the Wahhabi religious establishment of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Capsule Review
2015
John Waterbury

Herb examines why, unlike other oil-rich Gulf states, Kuwait has managed to fashion a credible electoral democracy. He concludes that the roots of this difference lie in grave security threats Kuwait has faced through the decades.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

This book is an unapologetic indictment of Israel—a country that, according to Falk, evinces racist and even genocidal instincts.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

The essays in this rich collection are inspired by the novels, poems, and films of great Arab artists.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

“Peace between Israel and Palestine can assume neither meaning nor substance except in Gaza," Filiu argues. 

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

In Fathi's view, the Islamic Revolution represented a step backward on a convoluted but certain path to a more liberal, democratic Iran. 

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

Mishal and Goldberg coin a set of terms to describe political leadership in the Islamic Republic of Iran and within Hezbollah. In the authors’ view, “the middle ground” is where Shiite leadership is most comfortable.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2015
John Waterbury

The three scholars of the Levant who wrote this book focus on an undeniably important element of Hezbollah’s strategy: spin.

Capsule Review
John Waterbury

Wehrey dispassionately chronicles sectarianism in the three Gulf countries where Shiite-Sunni tensions are arguably most significant.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
John Waterbury
Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Kroenig advances a serious, but not entirely convincing, argument in favor of a U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities: the United States has the military capability to destroy all known Iranian nuclear facilities without committing any ground troops to the task. 

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

This collection on environmental history includes pieces on topics ranging from the environment’s effect on the longevity of empires to estimates of the size of the daily catch enjoyed by fishermen in medieval Istanbul.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Despite his years as a Middle East analyst for the CIA, the National Intelligence Council, and the RAND Corporation, Fuller is a fierce critic of U.S. policy in the region. He spreads the blame for the Middle East’s woes among Western powers and local actors.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Robert Ames was an influential CIA operative in the Middle East who was killed in the blast that leveled the U.S. embassy in Beirut in April 1983. Bird argues that for more than a decade, Ames was the sole U.S. conduit to Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Abbas seeks to answer a basic question: Why did the Afghan Taliban rebound after U.S.-led forces defeated them in 2001–2? His answers spare none of the region’s main players.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Shah is a strong advocate for civilian control of military forces, and his book explores why such control has consistently eluded Pakistan’s government.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Arab millenials have the opportunity to promote their agendas by politicizing social media. The question is whether they will be able to do so in the face of determined repression and censorship.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Women in the Middle East suffer more from the inequities of globalization than from patriarchy. Indeed, argues Abu-Lughod, well-intentioned Western feminism has served as a cover for the U.S.-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, harming women. 

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Many observers have explored the question of whether Islamist moderation is tactical or sincere. Hamid’s answer is clear: it is tactical.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

Al-Ali returned to Iraq as a legal adviser to the United Nations during the U.S. occupation. All his attempts to reform the post-Saddam state failed; this book is his lament.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

These books present two very different takes on the most dynamic part of the Arab world.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

No former editor in chief of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz would likely be kind to Ariel Sharon, the recently deceased Israeli leader, and Landau is not.