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Product Details

  • Series: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019989177X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199891771
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A remarkably readable, informative, slim volume...Of particular worth is James Gelvin's ability to show how the protests are interlinked, yet also independent of each other. Brief forays into the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the current state of al-Qaeda are also illuminating...an excellent primer for the general reader." --Publishers Weekly


"This impressive achievement brings together a vast amount of information in a lucid manner. Highly recommended." --Library Journal


"A solid primer on the Arab Spring...[Gelvin's] background on the Arab world will certainly help non-experts better understand the region...A useful attempt to understand a still-unfolding story." --Kirkus Reviews


"Highly recommended...Gelvin's claim to provide "what everyone needs to know" does not unduly exaggerate the usefulness of the book for students and other nonspecialists. Even specialists in contemporary Arab affairs will benefit in some ways, notably by using it as a model in their own teaching and general writings." --CHOICE


"James Gelvin has throughout his career explained to us the role of popular demonstrations and symbolic action in the modern Middle East. There could be few more expert guides for the public to the remarkable Arab uprisings of 2011. Gelvin avoids easy answers for the hard one, and never prefers simple theory to complex realities." --Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan


About the Author


James L. Gelvin is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Modern Middle East: A History and The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
This is an exceptionally well-written and informative book.
Olga
This is a good book about the the Arab Uprisings, reporting on Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya.
tracksmith
Highly recommended for anyone interested in the region or recent events there.
doc peterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A.J. Tanner on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Gelvin's "Arab Uprisings" is a must read if you've been trying to follow the events unfolding in the Middle East. I have tried to keep up with the "where" and "why of each rebellion and/or revolution, but the sheer numbers often made it confusing that often left me with more questions than answers. Gelvin's book was what I was looking for. It sheds light on the historical, political, and cultural aspects that each country has undergone by linking the various uprisings in the differing states (such as Tunisia and Egypt, Libya and Yemen, Algeria and Syria, and the monarchies). The book is clearly written, and the Q &A format makes for an easy but substantive read. Each answer reads like a mini-essay, and I particularly enjoyed the answers to "Where did the phrase `Arab Spring' come from?", "How appropriate is it to describe events in the Arab world?", "What are the ten biggest myths about the Egyptian uprising?", and "Was Qaddafi crazy or crazy like a fox?" The author obviously knows his history as well as the contemporary issues confronting the region. (His "Modern Middle East" and "Israel/Palestine Conflict" are also must reads.) The last section of "Arab Uprisings" is illuminating in showing the impact of the uprisings on both the American and Iranian positions in the region, on the Israel-Palestine Conflict, and on al-Qaeda. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Gelvin fulfills his promise with the book's sub-title, "What Everyone Needs to Know," because I walked away having a greater understanding of what's going on in the Middle East. I now can watch the continuing unfolding of events with both the information and confidence that the author has provided.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen on January 11, 2014
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This book was obviously written very soon after these events occurred, so it is interesting to look at the events that occurred and what the contributing factors were. This book gives a much fuller explanation of the uprisings and why and how they escalated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Olga on September 26, 2013
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This is an exceptionally well-written and informative book. Dr. Gelvin uses a question and answer format to look at the "Arab Spring" -- causes and effects -- the uprisings, as well as the monarchies (no change in governance). He concludes with the implications (so far) in the Middle East. I learned a LOT!
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cat on February 14, 2012
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First off, I feel I have to disclose that Gelvin is actually my professor. Normally, I'd be concerned about creating a biased review but the book is so well-written that the fact that I am in his lecture periods has little bearing. The book is written in question-answer form allowing for clear, straight to the point answers. Gelvin avoids "fluff" and answers the questions in the same conversational manner he uses during lecture that engages his students (and the reader). I found the book easy to get through while providing the information expected of it. It truly is a great read; it is simple to understand but not lacking in necessary information.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on November 29, 2013
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_The Arab Uprisings: what everyone needs to know_ is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining an understanding of the "Arab Spring" of 2011. Written in a question-and-answer format, Galvin clearly explains the causes of the revolutions that swept the Arab world, drawing parallels between nations and clarifying the complex interplay of economics, demographics and politics in the political change that is still unfolding.

The book begins with a brief primer on the Arab world - the cultural similarities and the broad economic and political climate of the region before the uprisings began. Galvin then argues that the revolutions were the result of four factors: economic promises made by the regimes to their people that fell apart, a "youth bulge", food crises and political brittleness of their autocracies. While there are some variations, these four themes are revisted as the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya and Syria are explored in detail.

The final chapter, in which Galvin fields questions about the "long view" of the Arab Spring is a bit odd, the questions more along the lines of political science than history. To his credit, Galvin reminds readers that these events are still unfolding, writing, "The moral of the story (of the uprisings) is that historical analogies do not explain and do not instruct, although for historians and history geeks their entertainment value cannot be overestimated." Similar questions about the role and impact of American foreign policy in fomenting the Arab Spring and what the implications of the uprisings are for the United States are similarly swatted away, and rightfully so, I think.

While events are still being played out regarding the effects of the spring of 2011, this is an outstanding primer on the subject - rich in detail and clearly and simply written. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the region or recent events there.
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By tracksmith on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a good book about the the Arab Uprisings, reporting on Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. The monarchies of Saudia Arabia, the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan, and Morocco are also discussed. How these uprisings have affected Al-Qaeda are interesting as well. Even if you are not into Middle East current events, this will help you understand why the people in these countries took to the streets, protesting their governments.
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