MODERN HISTORY AND POLITICS-The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East

By Ryan, Curtis R. | The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2012 | Go to article overview

MODERN HISTORY AND POLITICS-The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East


Ryan, Curtis R., The Middle East Journal


The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, by Marc Lynch. New York: Public Affairs, 2012. 269 pages. $26.99.

Reviewed by Curtis R. Ryan

Five years before the events of the "Arab Spring," a term that many credit to author Marc Lynch, the same author had written a prescient book titled Voices of the New Arab Public. Lynch had argued that youth activists, social media, and satellite television such as Al Jazeera were changing the region. In the years that followed, his arguments have been proven correct several times over. Now, drawing on extensive field work and personal connections that range from journalists and revolutionary activists to Arab and US government officials, Lynch has written a comprehensive account of the Arab revolutions.

The Arab Uprising is a superb book. If you are able to read only one account of the Arab Spring, this should be it. It is a highly readable narrative of the unfolding of these events, with appropriate historical background and context. Yet it is also a rich analysis that nonetheless manages to avoid social science jargon. It is written in an accessible way, of interest not only to scholars and policy-makers, but also to a much broader audience, including the general public. Lynch at times switches to writing in the first person, for good reason, since he is able to relate specific personal conversations with key figures from Tahrir Square to the White House.

Lynch notes that the roots of the revolutions run deeper than any single event (such as the death of Tunisian vendor Muhammad Boazizi), and that political mobilization and social protests are not in any way new to the region. The revolutions were not caused by Facebook, Twitter, or Al Jazeera; yet these media forms did contribute to a broader awareness across the Arab world of otherwise distant regional events, and they have - for several years - created a new and more inter-connected Arab public sphere in which activists and regimes pay close attention to the tactics, strategies, and fates of their counterparts throughout the Arab world.

In delving into the roots of the uprisings, Lynch examines the Arab Cold War of the 1950s and 1960s, an era associated largely with Nasser and the struggles between revolutionary pan-Arab regimes and conservative pro-Western monarchies. The years 2011 and 2012, in short, were not the first time that the region was embroiled in mass mobilizations, regime change, ideological conflict, and inter-Arab rivalries. Understanding this period is crucial, since modern Arab politics is in large part "based on the repressive, authoritarian state structures that developed in response to the turbulence of the Arab Cold War" (p. 30).

Lynch then moves on to examine other rounds of activism over the years: bread riots and anti-austerity protests of the 1980s, defensive democratization efforts in the 1990s, and finally what he calls the "Kefaya wave" of protests in the early 2000s (p. 56). The latter wave centered on the efforts of Egyptian activists to prevent a dynastic succession from Husni Mubarak to his son, Gamal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

MODERN HISTORY AND POLITICS-The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.