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The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East First Edition Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1594032325
ISBN-10: 1594032327
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; First Edition edition (June 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594032327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594032325
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,282,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. April Martin on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this book intelligent and inspiring. It's hard not to be captivated by the voices of the courageous people the author presents, and impossible not to feel uplifted. We are introduced to seven exceptional individuals, five men and two women, one each from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Kuwait and Syria. Each is doing the remarkable work of trying to bring democracy to his or her country. Muravchik is a good storyteller and I found that the pages turned themselves. In addition to being fascinated by their stories and situations, I was quite moved by the passionate commitments each of these people had made, risking life and safety to work for human rights and justice in a region that has known little of freedom.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seven stories of seven heterodox men and women of Islamic countries. I thought this book would be a lot of academic jargon, abstract discussion, high politics and geopolitics all mixed up, even though I had already read a book by Mr. Muravchik on Socialism and, thus, harbored some hope this book would be made as easy as possible to follow by the general reader. My hope was exceeded: the book tells the close-up stories of seven individuals from seven different Islamic countries who felt attracted to the liberalism and open societies of the West, who chose to differ from the religious and political authoritarianism of their countries' rulers, and finally decided to risk their lives defending freedom of speech, or religion, and to the protection of human rights. Most came to the Unites States and could get to know the “enemy” state, as their ruling classes would put it, and came to love America and the beliefs for which it stands. But one thing, above all the rest, does unite these now middle-aged group of men and women, and that is courage and ingenuity.

Each life is a wonderful story; told with the easiness and craft of a masterful writer. Intense lives. We grow and become adults along with the characters as we read. We come to understand why these individuals chose freedom and human rights and repudiated intolerance and authoritarianism. In the end, the way of life the Islamic countries gave themselves, they figured out, is just an excuse for their mullahs, their corrupt ruling classes: religious leaders hand-in-hand with the secular politicians, to have all the power safely kept for themselves, generation after generation. Religion is just a tool.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Freedom works on July 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Over the last two decades, I have read countless volumes on comparative politics in the Middle East, many of which are tremendously informative, but terribly dry. In the Next Founders, Josh Muravchik uses the lens of seven pioneering individuals to convey a large amount of information about politics within the seven critical countries in which they live. By putting a human face on an extraordinarily complex set of political dynamics, the book leaves the reader not only knowing more, but caring more about the struggle for freedom and human rights in the Middle East.
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The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East
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