The New York Times
Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle Eastby Robin Wright
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.
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The 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
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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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."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book was published in 2008, and yet it foretells the Arab Spring of 2011 clearly. Robin Wright may be the Middle East analyst with the most access-she seems to travel unhindered whenever and wherever she chooses to visit. Wright so clearly loves the Middle East, and Iran in particular, that we begin to love it, too. We especially love the brave men and women who risk their lives to demand a voice, in Iran and Syria for example. The demand for civil rights for blacks, perhaps, is the last time we have seen peaceful resistance and a stand on righteousness in this country. It can be violent, but it is extraordinarily effective. In this book, written for a non-specialist in Middle East politics, Wright introduces us simply, clearly to the major players, excluding Israel. She writes of modern Arab history, beginning with The Palestinians, moving to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Morocco. We are given major, still-relevant events in recent history for each group, and interviews with both government and dissident voices. The lines of dissension couldn't be clearer, and though the Israel/Palestine divide is rarely mentioned after the first sections, this is the context within which all the Middle East labors. Besides that, each country has its own particular geography and political history to enter the equations for peace and stability. A throwing off of long-governing autocrats doesn't seem impossible: Wright makes it seem inevitable. Which makes one wonder, "why can't the leaders see that?" Does she make it too simple for us? Certainly her descriptions make me want to go to the Middle East myself, to see for myself, if only it were that easy. If I have to rely on someone else's interpretation, hers seems as balanced as one can hope for-if she weren't balanced, she wouldn't have the access she exhibits. One reason she knew change was coming and will continue I copy for you here: "Two dynamics will define political change in the NE for years to come. The first is.identity, the accumulative package of family, faith, race, traditions, and ties to a specific piece of land. The second dynamic is.youth and an emerging generation of younger leaders. The young have never been so important: More than seventy percent of the people living in the regions stretching from Tehran to Rabat are under thirty years old." (p. 137) Finally, Wright discusses Iraq, and the American war there. Each sentence reads like another board nailed on the scaffolding of a once great country's demise (ours and theirs). Here Wright tells us what must happen if government change in the Middle East is to succeed: Change in today's Middle East is likely to succeed only when all major players-not just the majority-believe they have a stake in the new order. Rival identities will otherwise derail it. The sense of common nationhood is still too fragile. Suspicions run too deep. ..Iraq is a telling, and tragic precedent.