The Tragedy of the Middle East

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 11, 2004 - History - 296 pages
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The Middle East has changed clearly, substantially, and dramatically during the last decade. Yet scholarly and public understanding lags far behind recent events. Barry Rubin's historical and political summation of the region shows how events and ideas have both shaped and altered its character. Three interlinked themes are crucial to the book. First, a reinterpretation of the era of recent upheaval the Middle East has just passed through, which the author calls the Era of Radical Expectations. During that period, many Arabs believed that some leader, country, or radical movement would unite the region, solving all its problems. Second, an evaluation of how the historical experience of the period between the 1940s and the 1990s undermined the old system, making change necessary. Third, an analysis of the region today that explains future developments, in what the author terms the Era of Reluctant Pragmatism, as the Middle Eastern societies determine their relationships to the West. Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herziliya, Israel, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs. He is the author of 16 books on the Middle East and has edited another 17 that include the widely reviewed and acclaimed The Transformation of Palestinian Politics (Harvard, 1999) and The Israel-Arab Reader (Penguin/Putnam, 2002)
  

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The tragedy of the Middle East

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For a brief period in the 1990s, peace in the Middle East seemed possible. Now that that's over, Rubin seeks to explain what went wrong. In his sixteenth book on the region, he argues that Arab ... Read full review

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Contents

2 PARADIGM LOST
33
3 THE REGIMES SUCCESS THE NATIONS DISASTER
70
The Test Case for Reform
97
The People versus the Will of God?
117
6 FORCE AND VIOLENCE IN MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS
138
7 THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF ISLAM
168
Foundation Stone or Millstone?
193
9 THE TRUTH ABOUT US MIDDLE EASTERN POLICY
227
10 THE UNCIVIL SOCIETY AND THE WALL OF LIES
258
INDEX
281
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About the author (2004)

Professor Barry Rubin is Deputy Director of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies and is editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs and the journal Turkish Studies. He is the author of fifteen books, most recently The Transformation of Palestinian Politics: From Revolution to State-Building (Harvard University Press).

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