One of the best books of its kind that I have read in years. It is not simply about militaries, it is about how informal politics itself limits the boundaries of formal democratic institutions. Cook's command of the relevant languages and his capacity to summarize three critical Middle East cases in clear and engaging language makes this a compelling and indeed indispensable piece of work.(Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University, coeditor of Islam and Democracy in the Middle East)
Cook's argument is solid, coherent and well supported by the empirical data he provides.(Omar Ashour International Affairs)
Cook has produced a sensitive, insightful analysis of the political role of the military in three Middle Eastern countries.(Choice)
Cook's book makes an important contribution to the literature on persistent authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa.(Stephen J. King Political Science Quarterly)
An impressive comparative study of the disputed political regimes of Algeria, Egypt, and Turkey... will likely initiate a new literature on the international and domestic efforts necessary to democratize the Middle East.(Hüseyin Alptekin Insight Turkey)
Steven A. Cook is a Douglas Dillon Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.