The Arab uprisings : what everyone needs to know

by James L. Gelvin

Paper Book, 2012




New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.


Beginning in December 2010 popular revolt swept through the Middle East, shocking the world and ushering in a period of unprecedented unrest. Protestors took to the streets to demand greater freedom, democracy, human rights, social justice, and regime change. What caused these uprisings? What is their significance? And what are their likely consequences? In an engaging question-and-answer format, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know� explores all aspects of the revolutionary protests that have rocked the Middle East. Historian James Gelvin begins with an overview--What sparked the Arab uprisings? Where did the demands for democracy and human rights come from? How appropriate is the phrase "Arab Spring"?--before turning to specific countries around the region. He looks at such topics as the role of youth, labor, and religious groups in Tunisia and Egypt and discusses why the military turned against rulers in both countries. Exploring the uprisings in Libya and Yemen, Gelvin explains why these two states are considered "weak," why that status is important for understanding the upheavals there, and why outside powers intervened in Libya but not in Yemen. Next, Gelvin compares two cases that defied expectations: Algeria, which experts assumed would experience a major upheaval after Egypt's, and Syria, which experts failed to foresee. He then looks at the monarchies of Morocco, Jordan, and the Gulf, exploring the commonalities and differences of protest movements in each. The final chapter discusses the implications of the uprisings. What do they mean for the United States? For Iran? Has al-Qaeda been strengthened or weakened? What effects have the uprisings had on the Israel-Palestine conflict? What conclusions might we draw from the uprisings so far? For anyone wishing to understand the dramatic events in the Middle East, The Arab Uprisings is the place to turn. What Everyone Needs to Know� is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member workingwriter
This is a useful introduction to the history and politics of the region. Covered in a question-and-answer format that makes it pretty easy to read and absorb. While academic in tone (not surprisingly), this brief exploration is not overly weighed-down with footnotes and references. It's nice that most of these references are on the Web.

If you're looking for a way to start understanding what's happening in Egypt, Syria, Libya and the other Arab countries living through uprisings, this is the book. You'll also learn more about US foreign policy too.
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LibraryThing member stillatim
It's short, it's packed with information, it's in a question & answer format... there's very little not to love. You will learn, whether you want to or not; and this should be required reading for journalists and editorialists. Okay, there are two things not to like: first, it's like reading 160 pages of wikileaks cables, albeit with only the important stuff left in. Second, he insists on calling middle eastern capitalists 'crony capitalists.' It's not clear to me how they're any different from our capitalists, other than being new arrivals to the system in which they get rich and millions of others do not. Different from perfect capitalism, yes; from actually existing capitalists, no. Is that important in the context of this book? Not at all. Highly recommended.… (more)



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