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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is […]
John R. Bradley
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One Planet Books
Powell's Bookstores, Chicago
When popular revolutions erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, Western pundits were quick to hail the stirrings of an Arab Spring and to draw parallels between the resulting upheaval in the Middle East and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In "The Tunisian Tsunami," John R. Bradley offers a sober counter-narrative to this outlook. It is not liberalism, democracy and pluralism that will emerge triumphant, he argues, but instead radical Islam. Bradley shows how Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt hijacked the revolutions in both countries and immediately set about imposing their fundamentalist agendas. Their counterparts in countries as diverse as Syria, Yemen, Jordan, and Libya are posited to do the same. Bradley illustrates how in a region awash with extremist Wahhabi ideology, inter-tribal rivalries and Sunni-Shia divisions, the idea that liberal and progressive trends will prevail is little more than wishful thinking.
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