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After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts Hardcover – January 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780230338197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230338197
  • ASIN: 0230338194
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Back in 2008, John R. Bradley was dubbed an alarmist for uniquely -- yet at the same time accurately -- predicting an Egyptian uprising. But he was right, and his publications were banned by Hosni Mubarak's regime. In his new book, After the Arab Spring, his message is a simple one: everything we've been told about the Arab spring is wrong. In his view, political Islam has hijacked the revolutions across the Middle East."-Sir David Frost, on Al-Jazeera English

"A significant strength of Bradley's analysis is his methodological strategy, drawing from sources as diverse as interview transcripts, public speeches, websites, personal correspondence, TV shows, magazines, newspaper articles, and interviews. This book manages to produce a bitter yet accurate picture of the Arab world post-2011. Future writing on the topic of inter- national conflict, foreign policy, and democratization would do well to incorporate the warnings and arguments of this book."--International Journal of Development and Conflict

“A timely rebuttal to European and American reporting on the Arab Spring… [Bradley] lambasts reporters and the youthful Arab Facebook and Twitter generations who thought they could replace the Old Guard…. Highly recommended.”—Choice

“John R Bradley, a journalist who has lived in the Middle East for many years and was almost unique in predicting the uprising in Egypt, argues that the revolutions have failed in their most basic objectives…. After the Arab Spring predicted the rise of political Islam.”--The London Times

“This wry, concise and elegantly written book amounts to an impassioned critique of the Western media's narrative of the Middle East.”--The London Telegraph

“Bradley has nothing but contempt for political posturing, and is out to debunk the myth of the Arab Spring as a triumph of the people….. [He] is on to something about the way society governs itself, the powers it hands to certain men whose weaknesses render them unfit for it, the religious forces that step in to supply the missing higher values only to debase them.”--The Times Literary Supplement

“Bradley has spent many years living in the countries he discusses and is fluent in Arabic; his first hand experiences give the book a taste of personality and help to keep the reader remain engaged.... There is much to be learned from After the Arab Spring. I would recommend this book to anyone who claims to have a grasp on Middle Eastern conflict and how it should be handled.”--Americans for Informed Democracy

“After the Arab Spring is indispensable to understanding why the Middle East uprisings aren't going where we want. John R. Bradley has a better pulse on the reality than anyone.”--Robert Baer, former CIA operative and inspiration for the movie SYRIANA  “Yes, the demonstrators were brave -- but religious extremists were manipulating them. John R. Bradley looks beyond the blazing power of [the revolutions] to find Islamist groups steadily taking control.”--Time Out (U.K.)

“A savage indictment of alleged western naivety about the significance of the Middle East revolutions. [Bradley] highlights Tunisia as the most conspicuous case of a society where Islamist dominance is likely to ensure that its last state will prove worse than its first, and is equally gloomy in forecasts for Egypt and Libya. Bradley's prognosis… has a nasty plausibility.”--Max Hastings, The Financial Times

“The situation [in the Middle East] has developed almost exactly along the lines that John R. Bradley predicted.”--The Spectator (U.K.)

“[Bradley] has spent years in the region, and brings to After the Arab Spring a copious amount of first-hand knowledge. He also enlivens his otherwise downbeat and enervating argument with a potent dose of caustic wit.... He does well to force readers - many of whom may be unrealistically sanguine about recent events - to confront the dark side of the Arab Spring.”--The National

“Bradley speaks Egyptian Arabic, knows the region well, and writes in a robust and punchy style... [He] gets the essential narrative of political Islamism.”--Literary Review (U.K.)

“An impassioned polemic, scornful about Western naivety towards the events of last year.”--The London Sunday Times

“Bradley is able to push through the blustery talking heads of, say, CNN or Al-Jazeera to allow the voice of the people themselves to be heard. He rightly undermines much of the gushy view that the region is fired by dreams of Western liberalism and democracy and counters that it is really all about feeding oneself and one's family. Bradley's book stimulates a part of the mind largely unworked by... other books.”--The Australian

“I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Arab Spring, or anyone with a view on intervention in the region. It questions every assumption the media has portrayed, and provides evidence for these statements.”--The Student Review (U.K.)

"Bradley believes all what the West says about about the Arab Spring revolutions is errenous, and criticises the shallow Western media coverage of what is happening in the Middle East. He explains that the West misunderstood the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt: that they did not start in a quest for democracy, but as protests against deteriorating economic and social conditions. Bradley points out that the result was not the triumph of democry or modernism but radical Islam. He reveals in After the Arab Spring how progressive, liberal voices were drowned out... and he warns that the 'moderation' on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahada in Tunisia is just a myth designed to fool local voters and the West alike."--Al-Ahram (Egypt)

 

"Bradley's success in predicting the 25 Jan. revolution in Inside Egypt confirms that what he writes about the future of the region carries a great deal of weight. He opposes to the spread of radical Islamic thought, but uses the term 'Islamist' to define those who adopt a strict interpretation of the Islamic religion at the political and social levels. He defends the secularism grounded in Tunisia before the fall of the regime, and criticises how Wahhabi Islamic thought has spread to most of the countries of the Arab world thanks to the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia. What Bradley says is worth paying attention to."--Al-Watan (Kuwait)

 

"According to Bradley's analysis, Egypt is heading towards the abyss of religious totalitarianism under the rule of fascists who will deal harshly with their opponents. The Iranian experience [of 1979] was that Islamists reaped the benefits of the revolution, even though they were just one faction in the uprising against the Shah. This is being repeated in Egypt now."--Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt)

 

"In After the Arab Spring, Bradley says that the Islamists rode the wave of the revolutions and hijacked them, and a counter-revolution was carried out out by Saudi Arabia and Qatar by way of promoting their Wahhabi ideology. Bradley is skeptical about the 'moderation' promoted by the Islamist movements and their leaders, arguing that their rhetoric merely earns them points during the long battle. Beyond that, Bradley says that 'the West assumed that liberal values ​​would triumph and prevail, but this did not materialise.' The West is repeating its stupid mistakes of the past.... The author paints a bleak picture of what lies ahead."--Al-Watan (Syria)


“John R Bradley, author of After the Arab Spring, was one of the few journalists who sang out of tune to the chorus of Arab Spring enthusiasts, pointing out that the failure of the democratic transition in Tunisia, the most progressive Arab country, portended failure when it came to the possibility of success in other countries. The Islamists were poised to mobolise for the elections. They have indeed hijacked the revolutions.”–Tomás Alcoverro, La Vanguardia (Spain)

“The revolts against the old autocrats have not brought the agenda of the liberal democrats into sharper focus, but that of the hidden theocrats. With the security vacuum and the Islamists’ march towards government, it is difficult not to agree with Bradley’s thesis. It is not that he ignores [in After the Arab Spring] regular Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans and their thirst for a free life without corrupt leaders; but rather that he believes it is cultural imperialism to think that Arabs, by definition, want the same institutions and values ​​that we cherish on the European side of the Mediterranean.”—Weekendavisen (Norway)
“Bradley's book is a good alternative view of the Arab Spring, and his pessimistic outlook is useful to avoid looking at events from so-called rose-colored glasses.”--Small Wars Journal

“Having boldly predicted the revolution in Egypt in his book Inside Egypt and warned of the 'saving graces' of Tunisia's Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dictatorship before the advent of the Jasmine Revolution in Behind the Veil of Vice, the author sends out another cry of alarm—this time at the democratic fallout that is benefiting the strident Islamist parties…. Bradley looks at the resurgence of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism and other forms of tribalism since the revolutions in Yemen, Libya and elsewhere. He also considers the 'Shia Axis' and bitter lessons gained from Islamist incursions in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.”--Kirkus Reviews    

"After The Arab Spring is a bold and provocative work which argues that the revolutions were not necessarily a good thing and, in many cases, could make the countries affected by them more oppressive places because of the likelihood of Islamist takeovers. Bradley is scathing about the common perception that the advent of democracy in these Arab states will bring about western-style liberal governments. He rightly points out that… the worsening economic climate, high unemployment and disgust at the rampant corruption and nepotism of their governments [is what] drove people on to the street.”—The Sunday Business Post (Ireland)

"Back in 2008, John R. Bradley was dubbed an alarmist for uniquely -- yet at the same time accurately -- predicting an Egyptian uprising. But he was right, and his publications were banned by Hosni Mubarak's regime. In his new book, After the Arab Spring, his message is a simple one: everything we've been told about the Arab spring is wrong. In his view, political Islam has hijacked the revolutions across the Middle East."—Sir David Frost, on Al-Jazeera English

"Bradley argues that… riots now occur daily, hardliners target secular forces and Christians, and the new leaders lack popular support. Worst of all, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahda in Tunisia are set to gain power. The tourist sectors of both countries have been hit severely…. [After theArab Spring] then moves on to look at how the Arab Spring has become a tool of the Iran-Saudi conflict. Bradley discusses changes in the region such as Bahrain being invaded by Saudi Arabia, and how Yemen is even more tribal and fragmented thanks to Saudi support for insurgents.”—LSE Review of Books

“The man who predicted the revolution in Egypt two years before it happened says it is the Islamists that profited from the Arab Spring. In After the Arab Spring, Bradley goes beyond the glossy picture that has been drawn in the Western media and asks a fundamental question: do the events in the Arab world that brought down several dictators qualify as an Arab Spring?... The Arab Spring may have had some short term benefit but in return for a potential long-term nightmare, he believes.”—euronews.com

“Recent indicators in Tunisia suggest that Islam and democracy are not and cannot be compatible. John R. Bradley, in his book After the Arab Spring, offers an alarming glimpse into Tunisia's future governance.”—The Gatestone Insistute

“John R. Bradley, the writer who predicted the revolution in Egypt, has published a new book, After the Arab Spring… He pitted himself against everyone else by stressing, from the outset, that the Islamists would be the main beneficiaries, and thus succeed in filling the [political] vacuum. Bradley’s opinions are based on his vast knowledge of the varied cultures and societies of the countries that make up the Middle East…. His book is a timely, in-depth analysis of what could be called ‘the new states’ that have now emerged.”–Akhbar Al-Khaleej (Bahrain)

About the Author


JOHN R. BRADLEY (johnrbradley.wordpress.com) was born in England and was educated at University College London, Dartmouth College in the United States, and Exeter College, Oxford. He is the author of four non-fiction books on the contemporary Arab world published by Palgrave Macmillan that draw heavily on his personal experience: Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005); Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution (2008; updated edition 2012); Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East (2010); and After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts (2012). Bradley has been covering the Middle East for almost two decades. He has written essays, dispatches, reviews, and op-eds for numerous publications, including: The Washington Quarterly, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, Salon, The London Telegraph, The Forward, The London Evening Standard, The New York Post, The London Sunday Times, Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Jewish Chronicle, The Washington Times, Newsweek, Asia Times, Prospect, and The Economist. He has been interviewed about the Middle East by CNN, the BBC, PBS, NPR, CBS, Fox News, Al-Jazeera English, Sky News, Russia Today, Channel 4 News, Bloomberg TV, and many other media outlets. Bradley's public lectures have most recently taken place at The Pacific Council for International Affairs in Los Angeles, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, London's Intelligence Squared, and The Athenaeum in Claremont, California.

More About the Author

JOHN R. BRADLEY (johnrbradley.wordpress.com) was born in England and was educated at University College London, Dartmouth College in the United States, and Exeter College, Oxford.

He is the author of four non-fiction books on the contemporary Arab world published by Palgrave Macmillan that draw heavily on his personal experience: Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005); Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution (2008; updated edition 2012); Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East (2010); and After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts (2012).

Bradley has been covering the Middle East for almost two decades. He has written essays, dispatches, reviews, and op-eds for numerous publications, including: The Washington Quarterly, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, Salon, The London Telegraph, The Forward, The London Evening Standard, The New York Post, The London Sunday Times, Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Jewish Chronicle, The Washington Times, Newsweek, Asia Times, Prospect, and The Economist.

He has been interviewed about the Middle East by CNN, the BBC, PBS, NPR, CBS, Fox News, Al-Jazeera English, Sky News, Russia Today, Channel 4 News, Bloomberg TV, and many other media outlets.

Bradley's public lectures have most recently taken place at The Pacific Council for International Affairs in Los Angeles, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, London's Intelligence Squared, and The Athenaeum in Claremont, California.

Fluent in Arabic and Spanish, Bradley now divides his time between North Africa and Latin America.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this splendid book, John Bradley, an experienced foreign correspondent, shows how the media have lied to us about recent events in the Middle East. He exposes the myth of the `Arab Spring', which, like every Eastern European `colour' revolution, was not for freedom or democracy but for reaction.

He reminds us that Tunisia "was ruled by the most secular Arab regime and was the most socially liberal and progressive Muslim country in the Middle East. As such, before its revolution it had been the last bulwark against the Saudi-funded Wahhabi form of Islam that, since the oil boom of the 1970s, had spread everywhere else in the Islamic world."

Bradley points out that Tunisia was a "Muslim country where abortion was legal, where schools taught sex education, and where the veil was banned in government institutions (and severely discouraged elsewhere)." Polygamy had been outlawed for decades. The fertility rate was 2.08, down from 7.2 in the 1960s.

Schools and health care were free. More was spent on education than on the army. Its education was excellent, ranked 17th in the world, and seventh in maths and science. A third of Tunisia's young people went to university, where 60 per cent of students were women.

The army had no role in politics. The government opposed regionalism, tribalism and Islamism. "In Tunisia, there was a reason that the Islamists were not the vanguard: for decades the regime had imprisoned or exiled them."

In 2009, only 4 per cent of Tunisians were poor; after the counter-revolution, 25 per cent were poor, and 40 per cent were jobless. The Islamists won the October 2011 election.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tremble the Devil on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The vast majority of reporting about the Arab Spring has come from journalists who just showed up for the excitement and inevitably apply their own Western filters onto the events that've transpired since the Arab Spring's first fiery flickerings. Bradley has been living and reporting in the area for decades, and this book reflects that: it smashes the rosy-colored glasses the media at large has been reporting about the Arab Spring through firmly underfoot.

Bradley reminds us that democracy alone is not enough for the Arab World to begin to reflect Western mores and ideals - indispensable from our culture and system of government is the idea of liberalism: that people should be free to live their lives in whatever manner they please so long as it does not impinge on others' rights.

The Arab Spring may have lead to more democracy in the Arab World, but it has not lead to liberalism - wherever there's been revolt it's been the supremely well-organized Islamists who have gained the most power, not the sparse handful of moderates. And these Islamists don't seek to bring the Arab World into the 21st century, but instead drag it even further back into the days when honor killings and judicial amputation first began.

Bradley writes with a thoroughly literate journalistic flair that makes the book a fun and engaging read, even if you're already well-versed in the history and culture of the Muslim World you'll still find plenty of new information from his on the ground experiences and interviews. His section on Islamism within Southeast Asia is especially interesting, considering how little reporting comes from Islam's less-sexy island outposts.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By sandrab on February 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The existing reviews about this book are excellent and I find it difficult to add anything more of value. However here's my attempt as I think John Bradley deserves to be better known, especially to lay persons like myself.

Whether or not you share Bradleys view that the Moslem Brotherhood and Salafis could very likely take control of the Middle East, this book is essential reading if you want a better understanding of the unique make up and mentality of each country affected by the Arab Spring. e.g. why Tunisian's don't relate to Egyptians, and why they have even less use for Libyans.

I live in Egypt, and as much as I try to stay informed about the Middle East, until I read this book I found the underlying reasons for events, the relationship of one country or group to another, "Is a friend or foe?", very confusing.

Bradley provided me with the clarity I have been lacking. He goes into detail that the average person would never have access to and other writers are not interested in covering - and none of this detail is at all 'dry' reading. The opening chapter on Tunisia alone is worth the price of the book. And this detail makes all the difference in understanding events in the region (and Washington's foreign policy). I am now much much better informed when I watch or read the daily news.

Thank you John R. Bradley! I can hardly wait to read your other books.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Karim on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the absolute worst books I've ever had the infortune to read on the Middle East (and the competition is stiff...), or indeed on any subject. I am actually astonished that this book was published by Palgrave Macmillan, which I thought as an academically oriented publisher. The factual contents are at the level of a travel diary, and unburdened by excessive reliability or fact-checking. The opening part on Tunisia is simply horrendous: totally missing on the totalitarian nature of Benali's régime, which controlled all areas of life in Tunisia, from culture to sports and including of course economics, religion and politics, Bradley repeatedly describes Tunisia under Benali as liberal, if maybe a bit rough on Islamists (something he doesn't lament). He portrays Tunisia as richer than it was, and Tunisians as more pro-régime than they apparently were in January 2011. His relation of Tunisia these last two decades is unhindered by any detailed information on the régime's brazen corruption, the cracks in the Tunisian economic model (French academic Béatrice Hibou has written a splendid book on that subject, "La force de l'obéissance") and the relentless clampdown on any dissent, be it political, cultural or social.

What drives Bradley is a blind hatred of Islamists. While opposing their ideology and actions is absolutely justified, Bradley's strident and crusading tone sees nuance, complexity and indeed even reality fly out of the window. Equalling liberalism with the ability to order a beer or wear a short skirt, he might find Belarus and China liberal places as well.
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