History of Libya

History of Libya

by John Wright


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History of Libya by John Wright

John Wright's concise history of Libya begins in the prehistoric Sahara and concludes with the bloody overthrow of the Gadafi regime and the emergence of a "new" Libya in 2011. After surveying the story of the central Sahara's early hunter-gatherers and its Garamantian civilization, Wright briskly recounts the land's succession of foreign invaders, followed by the semi-independent Karamanli regime in 1711 and the return of the Turks in 1835. He discusses the workings of the historic trans-Saharan slave trade to Tripoli, Benghazi and other ports for local sale or export to the Eastern Mediterranean, and highlights Tripoli's nineteenth-century role as a base for European penetration of the Sahara and the lands beyond it. Wright's modern history assesses the controversial Italian era (1911-43), describing in detail the long, harsh conquest while giving due credit to the material achievements of the colonial regime. This fair and comprehensive overview provides a clearer understanding of Libya's subsequent history, covered in four final chapters. These start with the World War Two campaigns that ended Italian rule; the fairly easy ride to an early UN-supervised independence under the Sanussi monarchy in 1951; the discovery and exploitation of oil in the 1950s and 1960; and Moammar Gadafi's 1969 coup bringing to power a bizarre revolutionary regime that was to last for forty-two years. Wright's final chapter summarises the main events of 2011—the successful popular uprising; the NATO air intervention; the end of Gadafi and his regime; and the emergence of a "new" and perhaps rather different Libya.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199327119
Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

For many years John Wright was chief political commentator and analyst of the BBC Arabic Service, specialising in Libya, the Sahara and the international oil industry. Besides many articles, papers and talks, he has completed a PhD thesis and written or edited six books on Libya, Saharan travel and exploration and the Saharan slave trade.

Table of Contents

1. The Hunter-Artists
2. The Phoenicians
3. The Greeks
4. The Numidians
5. The Romans
6. Christians and Barbarians
7. Vandals and Byzantines
8. The Arabs
9. European Intervention
10. Turks and Karamanlis
11. Turks, Explorers and Sanussis
12. A "Historic Destiny"
13. The Years of Accord
14. La Riconquista
15. Fourth Shore
16. A Child of the United Nations
17. The Sanussi Kingdom
18. The State of the Masses

What People are Saying About This

Saul Kelly

Required reading by all those who wish to understand this desert enigma.

Saul Kelly, King's College, London

George Joffe

John Wright's study of Libya includes an acute and perceptive analysis of the Libyan Jamahariyah of Colonel Qadhafi, providing us with the most complete study of the country's complex history to date. It is essential for any scholar, journalist, or interested reader anxious to understand this unusual and important Mediterranean state.

George Joffe, Cambridge University and Kings College, London

Mohamed Ben-Madani

We have every reason to be grateful for A History of Libya, particularly at a time when the country is hoping to become a member of international communities after so many years of isolation. John Wright is known as the 'bishop of Libyan history; and has been the standard-bearer for Libyan historical studies for more than half a century. His book is an excellent contribution and will be invaluable for anyone interested in Libyan affairs.

Mohamed Ben-Madani, editor, The Maghreb Review

Dirk Vandewalle

"This book is in many important ways the culmination of John Wright's long involvement with Libya. Meticulously researched, with a breadth and insights only a long-term observer can muster, the different chapters provide wonderfully concise, analytic summaries of each distinc¬tive historical period. What has always made Wright's writing attractive, and particu¬larly in this volume, is his direct and engaging prose, providing clear and accessible writing rather than much of the jargon that has bedeviled other treatments. The result is a wonderfully succinct yet highly insightful recall of the country's past and present that does not in any way sacrifice clarity for detail. This book is not only a 'good read' for non-specialists but will be much appreciated by Libya observers as well, since there is no current up-to-date comprehensive history of the country available. The crowning achievement of a highly respected Libya observer."

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