The danger in writing about unfolding dramas is that they keep unfolding, potentially stranding both writer and reader. Not so with these two fine books, whose authors have long experience of the Middle East. Quite different in scope – a sweep of the Arab world contrasting with the ascent and decay of Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal régime – they deal with past, present, and possible future events in a lucid, compelling way. Anyone with an interest in what is at stake in the Middle East would be well advised to read them.
Battles within Islam
The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Era
by Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren
Yale University Press (Inbooks), $36.95 hb, 359 pp, 9780300180862
Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi
by Alison Pargeter
Yale University Press (Inbooks), $39.95 hb, 298 pp, 9780300139327
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Peter Rodgers is a former Australian ambassador to Israel whose latest book, Arabian Plights: The Future Middle East, was published in 2009.
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