×
Capsule Review

The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East

In This Review

The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East (Saban Center at the Brookings Institution Books)
The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East (Saban Center at the Brookings Institution Books)
By Kenneth M. Pollack, Daniel L. Byman, et al.
Brookings Institution Press, 2011, 381 pp. $26.95 Purchase

Eighteen authors cover the events that have roiled the Arab World since December 2010, when a despairing peddler from a town in the Tunisian hinterland set himself aflame to protest his treatment at the hands of an oppressive government. Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation ignited a chain reaction of challenges by hitherto seemingly acquiescent Arab societies to their authoritarian states. Some dominoes have fallen, others are atilt, and all have been shaken. This well-integrated account of a regionwide revolutionary year -- matching, if not exceeding, in importance Europe in 1848 or 1989 -- includes chapters on all but two Arab states (Lebanon and Sudan) and one on the Palestinians. Other chapters treat the reactions of the non-Arab Middle Eastern states -- Iran, Israel, and Turkey -- and those of China, the European Union, Russia, and, most of all, the United States. The contributors examine a wide range of factors that influenced the revolts: new media technologies, economic development, powerful militaries, democratization efforts, and ascendant Islamist parties. This volume weaves together those disparate elements, justifying its claim to constitute not just a string of separate entries but a genuine “collaborative work.”

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue