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Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East
     

Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East

by Robin Wright
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Ethan Bronner
Along for the ride, readers are treated to clear and well-rendered accounts of Kefaya, the fledgling Egyptian dissident movement; the history of Iran's quest for nuclear power; the beginnings of Hezbollah; and fascinating tidbits like an early mention of the Kurds as a nation and how the Katyusha rocket, got its name. While this is an engaging tour of a complex area, the problem is that the moment of promise that set Ms. Wright off on her trip—the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon combined with the Iraqi, Palestinian and Egyptian elections all in quick succession—has turned distinctly sour…That said, there is much to be gained from joining her on her trip. In some ways the subsequent failures of reform lend poignancy.
—The New York Times
Geoffrey Wheatcroft
Readers sometimes complain that newspapers print only bad news. Well, Wright is in fact an optimist, and she has done her best to give the good news. She describes the way many brave and decent people are struggling to free their countries from autocracy or worse, and she seeks out "a budding culture of change." In one country after another, men and women want to use economic empowerment and freedom of expression, enhanced by new technology, as the means to political liberation. But she is an honest reporter, and the story that emerges from this book is not quite the one she would like to tell. She cannot conceal the truth that change is slow to come when it comes at all…Robin Wright's book ought to teach our rulers a thing or two, but they often seem quite unteachable.
—The Washington Post
Patrick Cockburn
Wright has long been one of the best-informed American journalists covering the Middle East, and her reputation is borne out here. She is refreshingly skeptical of conventional wisdom about what is happening in the region, and her book will be essential reading for anybody who wants to know where it is heading.
—The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
An astute assessment of the state of the Middle East, by a longtime reporter and observer of the scene. Washington Post foreign-policy correspondent Wright brings some good tidings from the region: "In the early twenty-first century," she writes, "a budding culture of change is...imaginatively challenging the status quo-and even the extremists." Some members of this culture-they've been called the "pyjamahedeen"-blog, write letters to the editor, protest on the street; others exercise subtle resistance, as with the Iranian women who wear their headscarves "precariously at the crown of the head to expose as much of a beautifully coifed hairdo as possible without falling off." Whatever their form of protest, these men and women face much danger as ignorers of fatwas and potential heretics. Wright travels widely across the region to seek out these agents of change, though her profiles often concern those whom they are fighting. One militant, for instance, set the tone of decrying the supposed licentiousness of Western women half a century ago-his acolytes today press the charge, even as their female compatriots flock to see Hollywood movies and dress in Western fashions. That does not dissuade the true believers. As Wright notes, they're still busily seeking to transcend the Arabic world with an Islamic superstate, a caliphate that will rule the whole of humankind-once they settle such pesky problems as whether Sunni or Shia Islam is to prevail, drive America out of Iraq and force women to don the veil. Despite them, and despite the overwhelming view that America will be defeated in Iraq, there is even better news. Wright reports that "the majority of the people in the Middle East still[want] the kind of political change that has swept the rest of the world over the past quarter century."A fine set of dispatches from the front. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM
From the Publisher
"Wright has long been one of the best-informed American journalists covering the Middle East, and her reputation is born out here....Her book will be essential reading for anybody who wants to know where it is heading."-New York Times Book Review."
-The New York Times Book Review

"If there is such a thing as a pinnacle in the landscape of international journalism, Robin Wright surely stands atop it."
-The New York Review of Books

"A thought-provoking and eminently readable look at the current and future generation of leaders in that important, politically troubled region. . . . Wright's skills at old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting are very much in evidence."
-The Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101202760
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
File size:
667 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Wright has long been one of the best-informed American journalists covering the Middle East, and her reputation is born out here....Her book will be essential reading for anybody who wants to know where it is heading."-New York Times Book Review." -The New York Times Book Review"If there is such a thing as a pinnacle in the landscape of international journalism, Robin Wright surely stands atop it."-The New York Review of Books"A thought-provoking and eminently readable look at the current and future generation of leaders in that important, politically troubled region. . . . Wright's skills at old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting are very much in evidence." -The Boston Globe

Meet the Author

Robin Wright is an American journalist currently covering U.S. foreign policy for The Washington Post. She has reported for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Times (of London), CBS News and The Christian Science Monitor, and has served as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. She has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and The International Herald Tribune.

Awards and Honors

Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Association Gold Medal for coverage of international affairs, the National Magazine Award for reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas Press Club Award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative" for coverage of African wars. For coverage of U.S. foreign policy, she was named journalist of the year by the American Academy of Diplomacy for “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs ” and won the National Press Club Award and the Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting. Wright has also been the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

Wright has been a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Brookings Institution, Yale University, Duke University, Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Southern California. She also lectures extensively around the United States and has been a television commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC programs, including "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "This Week," “Nightline," the PBS Newshour, "Frontline," and "Larry King Live."

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