The New Arabs By Juan Cole

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The Arab world seemed to have been poised for an era of political and cultural renewal. The 2011 uprisings that toppled long-reigning dictators inspired hope to those within the region and the rest of the world that change may finally come to the Middle East. Like many eager journalists and intellectuals during the Arab Spring, Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan and a popular political blogger, had high hopes. “A new generation has been awakened,” Cole writes in his latest book, “The New Arabs,” which chronicles the positive new historical dynamic is taking hold in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In 2011, Westerners expected the Arab world to “spring” into democracy. But like most at the time, Juan Cole was wrong.

“The New Arabs” delves into the uprisings of 2011 that toppled the regimes of President Ben Ali of Tunisia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya. While Cole’s analysis may be flawed, there is much to be learned in “The New Arabs.” With personal experience in the Middle East, Cole gives us extraordinary insight into the mechanisms of social movements, taking us into the tents of Tahrir Square and into the minds of the youth revolutionaries. His heart-wrenching stories make the Arab Spring come to life, helping us understand the struggles of the Arab youth and the ways they united against corrupt regimes. These are the youth who are more educated, secular, and disenfranchised than their parents. As the first

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