SOCIAL SCIENCES

Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart

Anchor. May 2017. 240p. illus. ISBN 9780525434436. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780525434443. POL SC
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Since 2011, antigovernment protests and revolutions known as the Arab Spring have occurred throughout the Middle East and North Africa. At the same time, some countries in the region have experienced new waves of terrorism and the rise of ISIS (Islamic State). In addition, there is the current civil war in Syria, and the involvement of several world powers. Author and veteran war correspondent Anderson (War Zones) walks through these events using the perspectives of an Egyptian dissident, a Libyan Air Force cadet, a Kurdish physician, a Syrian university student, an Iraqi women's rights activist, and an ISIS fighter. The author paints a picture of the Arab world in revolt, where the West shaped geographical lines, but where its citizens look first to family and tribal ties. Anderson weaves seamlessly between the narratives and corresponding events to give a chronological, exclusive account of the ongoing crisis in the region through the words of its own people.
VERDICT Grounded by its human-interest stories, this book will appeal to many readers looking to make sense of current events.

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