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Arab Spring, Libyan Winter Paperback – May 8, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849351120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849351126
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History, Professor and Director of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He is the author of a number of books, including Karma of Brown Folk (Village Voice, one of the top 25 books of the year, 2001), Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting (Village Voice, one of the top 25 books of the year, 2002), and The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (winner of the 2009 Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize). He writes regularly for Frontline (India) and Counterpunch (USA), and edits Bol (Pakistan) and is a contributing editor at Himal (Nepal).

More About the Author

Vijay Prashad is Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, where he holds the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History.

Prashad is the author of fourteen books, most recently Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press), which India's The Hindu called "a book that deserves to become essential reading, a canonical account of a world-historic chain of events," and Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today (New Press), which the Boston Globe called "required reading for anyone who wants to understand race, assimilation and patriotism."

His Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (New Press, 2007) was chosen by the Asian American Writers' Workshop as the best nonfiction book of 2008, and it won the Muzaffar Ahmad Book Award for 2009. It is now available in French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, with editions in India and Pakistan and translations in Arabic, Mandarin and Turkish in process. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote in Economic and Political Weekly, "This is a comprehensive, informative and rewarding book to read, and documents a critical part of our international politics and culture which is much misrepresented nowadays." Former Indian Foreign Minister K. Natwar Singh, writing in Tehelka, notes, "The book invites comparison to Edward Said's Orientalism. Vijay Prashad's passionate commitment, his intellectual brio, his literary style, are all immensely impressive." El Pais said of the Spanish edition, "Las naciones oscuras es un libro excepcionalmente documentado. Era obligado, dada la ambición del proyecto. Su documentación es tan buena que brilla."

Prashad is a columnist for Frontline (India) and a correspondent for Asia Times, an editor at Bol (Pakistan) and Himal (Nepal) and a writer for al-Akhbar (Lebanon) and Counterpunch (USA). He has been published in The Hindu (India), Egypt Independent (Egypt), Bidayat (Lebanon), Economic and Political Weekly (India), Third World Resurgence (Malaysia), Mail and Guardian (South Africa), and India Abroad (USA).

In December 2012, Verso Books will publish his The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, which former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali calls "a contribution to the intellectual-cum-political emancipation of developing countries and their empowerment through greater self-reliance on their own intellectual and analytical resources."

For LeftWord books in Delhi, he edits a series called Dispatches. The first volume, Dispatches from Latin America, co-edited with Teo Ballvé appeared in 2006. The second volume, Dispatches from Pakistan, co-edited with Qalandar Bux Memon and Madiha R. Tahir, will appear in October 2012. The third volume, Dispatches from the Arab Revolt, co-edited with Paul Amar, will appear in December 2012. Two volumes, Dispatches from Africa and Dispatches from Europe, are currently in formation.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chris on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book begins with Prashad discussing the evolution of politics in Egypt. After 1970 Gamal Abdel Nasser's successor Anwar Sadat began the implementation of neoliberal economics in Egypt. The US propped up Sadat's successor Hosni Mubarak with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual aid to Egypt's military and police state. US food aid undermined Egypt's peasant class; by 2010 Egypt was the world's leading wheat importer. Under Mubarak, ordinary Egyptians gained little from the country's wealth. Egypt's indigenous bourgeoisie and elements of its military grew increasingly discontented that a small group around Mubarak's son Gamal dominated the nation's economy. In the years prior to 2011, there was growing unrest among ordinary Egyptians. As Egypt's government appeared on the verge of collapse, Obama maneuvered to ensure that as much of Mubarak's regime remained in place as possible even if Mubarak himself had to be removed. Prashad discusses Obama's envoy to Mubarak (the Mubarak apologist Frank Wisner Jr)and quotes US diplomatic cables from several years ago released by Wikileaks about Omar Suleiman and General Tantawi.

Prashad also discusses the Arab Spring in Yemen and Bahrain (and a little about Tunisia). In Bahrain, the Obama administration quietly endorsed the Saudi led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) invasion of the country to crush its pro-democracy movement. Prashad explains the US position regarding the question of democracy in Bahrain. Bahrain houses the US fifth fleet and any democratic government responsive to popular will might kick the fleet out. Prashad quotes two Wikileaks cables from 2008 where US diplomats report that the Al Wefaq party is very popular among Bahrain's oppressed Shiite majority and that the party is a non-sectarian and non-fundamentalist.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Russum on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
by Susan Webb, People's World
U.S. and European military leaders will meet in Chicago May 20-21 for their NATO summit. A Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice will convene May 18-19. A timely new book, "Arab Spring, Libyan WInter," provides a short, information-rich guide to what the NATO controversy is all about. Its focus is the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa over the past year, but the insights are relevant far beyond.

Author Vijay Prashad, professor and director of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., will be a speaker at the Counter-Summit.

In "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter," Prashad draws on his extensive contacts in the region and the diplomatic community, as well as sources such as the Wikileaks State Department cables, to provide unique information about how the "Arab Spring" emerged in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya, who and what has driven it, and the damaging role of the U.S., other Western powers, and Saudi Arabia. In all these cases Prashad gives a balanced overview of the history of imperialism and of national liberation efforts and missteps.

Prashad closes his book with a story. In the 1970s Chinese Prime Minister Zhou en-Lai was reportedly asked his assessment of the French Revolution of 1789. Zhou's reply: "It's too soon to tell." Prashad's point: It's too soon to tell what the impact of these Middle East/North Africa revolutions will be, but some things are sure:

* The time of the "neoliberal security state," exemplified by Mubarak's repressive U.S.-propped regime (and Qaddafi's in its later incarnation), is over.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cariboo on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book came out very shortly after NATO assaulted Libya, and it filled an enormous void on the subject. I don't particularly like Vijay Prashad's writing style, and I agree with other reviewers that "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter" is at times very difficult to read. That said, there is a lot of fine research and analysis here. I would like to have seen footnotes included, but the book does have an index. A good portion of the book examines the Arab Spring phenomenon more than Libya, but as far as I'm concerned this is one of the book's strengths. If you would like to learn more about the Libya intervention, this is certainly a worthwhile read. If you could choose only one book on the subject, I would recommend Maximilian Forte's "Slouching Towards Sirte."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MangosteenHeart on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book doesn't answer every question you might have but it does offer an objective and pertinent review of the contemporary political history of Libya. And after reading it I asked some Libyan businessmen I know (unfortunately I don't know any Libyan scholars), and what they told me about the Gaddafi government, about the war and its aftermath, are pretty much in accordance with the author's point of view.
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