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Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle Eastby Robin Wright
Informed by Wright's 30-plus years of experience reporting on the Middle East, Dreams and Shadows offers a nuanced and surprisingly hopeful look at the challenges faced by this complex region — and its burgeoning culture of change.
Synopses & Reviews
A magnificent reckoning with the extraordinary changes engulfing the Middle East, by one of our greatest reporters on the region.
Robin Wright first landed in the Middle East on October 6, 1973, the day the fourth Middle East war erupted. She has covered every country and most major crises in the region since then, through to the rise of Al-Qaeda and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. For all the drama of the past, however, the region's most decisive traumas are unfolding today as the Middle East struggles to deal with trends that have already reshaped the rest of the world. And for all the darkness, there is also hope. Some of the emerging trends give cause for greater optimism about the future of the Middle East than at any time since the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948.
Dreams and Shadows is an extraordinary tour d'horizon of the new Middle East, with on-the-ground reportage of the ideas and movements driving change across the region — and the obstacles they confront. Through the powerful storytelling for which the author is famous, Dreams and Shadows ties together the players and events in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, the Gulf states, and the Palestinian territories into a coherent vision of what lies ahead.
A marvelous field report from the center of the storm, the book is animated by the characters whose stories give the region's transformation its human immediacy and urgency. It is also rich with the history that brought us to this point. It is a masterpiece of the reporter's art and a work of profound and enduring insight.
At the end, Wright offers perspective on the United States' most ambitious and costly foreign policy initiative since the rebuilding of Europe after World War II. The stakes are far greater than winning the war on terrorism, stabilizing Iraq, or achieving a lasting Arab-Israeli peace. Transforming the greater Middle East is the last great political challenge of the modern era. Yet the early burst of activity in a region long stagnant is already becoming one of the first grand surprises of the twenty-first century.
"This is the best of all possible worlds: An old hand guides us through the changes in post-9/11 Middle East, and is able to sort out in a sober, smart way what is really going on." Thomas E. Ricks, author of FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
"Dreams and Shadows is a lucid and comprehensive look at tumultuous events that have shaped the Middle East and will continue to chart its future. Relying on thirty five years of reporting Robin Wright provides a rich tapestry of information and insight that is enjoyable to read and will also go a long way in providing understanding of the Middle East and the challenges that it presents U.S. foreign policy." Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future
"In Dreams and Shadows, Robin Wright offers a compelling account of the political contours that are defining the modern Middle East. Drawing upon her decades of travel and reporting from the region, Wright reveals the undercurrents of the latest fundamental searching in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, as well as the labyrinthine politics of Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Iran, and others. With her impressive access to the region's political and opinion leaders, Wright brings us to the ideological battle lines of the new Middle East, including promising openings and awakenings too often followed by disappointment and repression. She describes autocrats, democrats, and theocrats skirmishing in increasingly unpredictable ways." U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
"Robin Wright brings her enormous knowledge of the Middle East, gained over years of reporting, to narrate how the region is undergoing enormous social change brought on by technology and globalization, and why, despite Iraq, democracy remains on the region's agenda." Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University Professor of International Political Economy and author of America at the Crossroads
"Fascinating reading for anyone who likes true human drama. Only Wright could have written Dreams and Shadows because only Wright has traveled so widely, interviewed such diverse leaders, and brought so much wisdom to analyzing the region's many-sided puzzles. This volume, full of mesmerizing detail and large truths, sets a new standard for scholarship on the modern Middle East." Secretary Madeleine Albright
"A fine set of dispatches from the front." Kirkus Reviews
"Wright has long been one of the best-informed American journalists covering the Middle East." New York Times
"[A] valuable addition to the bookshelf of those who want to get their arms around the political and religious conflicts that roil the Middle East." Boston Globe
"[An] engaging read, and a useful one for people who want to better understand this important part of the world." Christian Science Monitor
"Though much of her research is new, it's grounded in more than three decades of reportage, a background that lends her work a depth of human understanding unmatched by many who claim to understand the Middle East." Dallas Morning News
"[A] resounding success....[T]his book brims with rousing stories of dedicated individuals struggling against overwhelming odds." St. Petersburg Times
The transformation of the Middle East is an issue that will absorb-and challenge-the world for generations to come; Dreams and Shadows is the book to read to understand the sweeping political and cultural changes that have occurred in recent decades. Drawing on thirty-five years of reporting in two dozen countries-through wars, revolutions, and uprisings as well as the birth of new democracy movements and a new generation of activists-award-winning journalist and Middle East expert Robin Wright has created a masterpiece of the reporter's art and a work of profound and enduring insight into one of the most confounding areas of the world.
About the Author
Robin Wright is an award-winning journalist who has reported from more than 140 countries for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS News, The New Yorker, and other major news outlets. She is the author of The Last Great Revolution.
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