"An extremely important book. The Long War for Freedom
finally presents to the Western world an in-depth portrait of those 'small voices' in the Arab world waging the most critical battle of the 21st Century--the battle for the soul of the Middle East. No one with any interest in the struggle for economic and political reform in the Arab world can afford to neglect this penetrating and provocative work, which lays bare both the importance and the great difficulty of helping the Arab world to transform itself."--Kenneth Pollack, author of The Threatening Storm
and The Persian Puzzle
From the Inside Flap
The United States has made the spread of democracy in the Middle East the cornerstone of its foreign policy. Though administration officials expect democratic ideals will be embraced there with enthusiasm, much of the rest of the world has greeted this strategy with enormous skepticism.
The Long War for Freedom is the first book to investigate whether a real base of support for reform, moderation, and democratization even exists in the region. Barry Rubin, one of the West's most trusted experts on Arab opinion and political culture, takes a close look at the brave, promising group of Arab liberals who have shown great personal courage and faced overwhelming odds to advocate new freedoms for their fellow citizens.
Rubin's key insight is that the dynamic isn't a simple two-way fightas it was with democratic reformers in Communist countries whom the Arab liberals are often compared tobetween hardliners and reformers. Instead, the interplay is among the rulers, the religious radicals, and the reformers, who constantly pair off in different ways in different countries.
Yet the questions remain: How receptive are Arab states to reform? What are the obstacles that stand in the way of its establishment there, and how can they be overcome? Would any further actions taken by the United States or Israel do more harm than good?
The future of the world may rest in large part on what happens to the small band of heroes celebrated in The Long War for Freedom, since they may turn out to be the only real hope for peace and progress in the Middle East.