Fr. 34.50

False Dawn

English · Paperback / Softback

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Description

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More than half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. In False Dawn, noted Middle East expert Steven A. Cook looks at the trajectory of events across the region from the initial uprising in Tunisia to the failed coup attempt in Turkey to explain why the Arab Spring uprisings did not succeed. Despite appearances, there were no true revolutions in the Middle East seven years ago: none of the affected societies underwent social revolutions, and the old structures of power were never eliminated. Even supposed successes like Tunisia still face significant barriers to democracy because of the continued strength of old regime players. Libya, the state that came closest to revolution, has fragmented into chaos, and Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has undertaken a widespread crackdown on his opponents, reinforcing the Turkish leader's personal power.

After taking stock of how and why the uprisings failed to produce lasting change, Cook considers the role of the United States in the region. What Washington cannot do, Cook argues, is shape the politics of the Middle East going forward. While many in the policymaking community believe that the United States must "get the Middle East right," American influence is actually quite limited; the future of the region lies in the hands of the people who live there. Authoritative and powerfully argued, False Dawn is a major work on one of the most important historical events of the past quarter century.

List of contents

  • Introduction: We are Free

  • Chapter 1: A Moment of Enthusiasm

  • Chapter 2: Bread, Freedom, Social Justice

  • Chapter 3: Unraveling

  • Chapter 4: On the Road to Nowhere

  • Chapter 5: Getting the Middle East Right

  • Chapter 6: Getting Worse Before it Gets Worse

About the author

Steven A. Cook is Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Struggle for Egypt and Ruling but Not Governing.

Summary

More than half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. In False Dawn, noted Middle East expert Steven A. Cook looks at the trajectory of events across the region from the initial uprising in Tunisia to the failed coup attempt in Turkey to explain why the Arab Spring uprisings did not succeed. Despite appearances, there were no true revolutions in the Middle East seven years ago: none of the affected societies underwent social revolutions, and the old structures of power were never eliminated. Even supposed successes like Tunisia still face significant barriers to democracy because of the continued strength of old regime players. Libya, the state that came closest to revolution, has fragmented into chaos, and Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has undertaken a widespread crackdown on his opponents, reinforcing the Turkish leader's personal power.

After taking stock of how and why the uprisings failed to produce lasting change, Cook considers the role of the United States in the region. What Washington cannot do, Cook argues, is shape the politics of the Middle East going forward. While many in the policymaking community believe that the United States must "get the Middle East right," American influence is actually quite limited; the future of the region lies in the hands of the people who live there. Authoritative and powerfully argued, False Dawn is a major work on one of the most important historical events of the past quarter century.

Additional text

'False Dawn' is a name fit for the next Dwayne Johnson action movie, however, it talks about the biggest action movie that has never been made: The Arab spring. Steven Cook gives one of the best detailed accounts about the hopes and disappointments in our modern times. The hope that was there and then never fulfilled. A must read book for anyone who wants to know what the hell happened there and doesn't want to get second hand information from pundits sitting on a CNN panel pretending to know what they are talking about." - Bassem Youssef

Report

The promise of the 'Arab Spring' now seems a distant memory. False Dawn offers a sweeping account, a combination of on-the-ground narrative and deep historical analysis of what went wrong. Stephen Cook's excellent book opens with a quote from deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011 that seemed like a threat at the time but now reads more like a prophecy: 'The youth who called for change and reform will be the first to suffer.' Cook tells us why." - Deborah Amos

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