Loved Egyptian Night: The Meaning of the Arab Spring (Hardcover)

Loved Egyptian Night: The Meaning of the Arab Spring By Hugh Roberts Cover Image

Loved Egyptian Night: The Meaning of the Arab Spring (Hardcover)


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Why did the Arab Spring have such calamitous outcomes?

Loved Egyptian Night fundamentally reassesses the Arab Spring, refuting the stories the Western powers fed to the world. There is no doubt that the toppling of Ben Ali in Tunisia in January 2011 and what it led to amounted to a political revolution.

But the uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria - countries with quite different histories and political traditions - were never revolutions. As Hugh Roberts explains, the bitter ends of these episodes were inscribed in their misunderstood beginnings. To celebrate these uprisings as 'revolutions' preempts and inhibits critical analysis and expresses an abdication of intellectual responsibility.

After so much wishful thinking, what remains is the debris of a cynical pretension. Outside interference, ostensibly on behalf of these 'revolutions', reduced Libya to anarchy and condemned Syria to a devastating proxy war now in its twelfth year.

In Egypt, the Free Officers' state was re-booted in its most brutal ever form. The Americans and Europeans did not vainly try to help the Egyptians or anyone else escape from authoritarian rule. Instead, they contrived to seal them up in it. The long oppression of these societies, Kipling’s 'loved Egyptian night,' is not going to be ended by the Western powers; these days it is guaranteed by them.
Hugh Roberts is the Edward Keller Professor, Emeritus, of North African and Middle Eastern History at Tufts University. From 2001 to 2012 he lived in Cairo, where he led the International Crisis Group's North Africa Project. His books include The Battlefield: Algeria 1988–2002 and Berber Government: The Kabyle Polity in Precolonial Algeria.
Product Details ISBN: 9781839768835
ISBN-10: 1839768835
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
"A superbly constructed compilation of Hugh Roberts’s writings that marries his key, near-contemporaneous writings about the uprisings in Libya, Egypt and Syria with his more recent reflections on those events"
—Helena Cobban, President of Just World Educational, author of The Palestinian Liberation Organisation

"Hugh Roberts’s incisive and insightful analysis of the Arab Spring draws on his intimate knowledge and careful tracing of events in Libya, Egypt and Syria to subvert the myths and falsehoods that led to political mistakes. Essential reading."
—Katerina Dalacoura, London School of Economics, author of Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East

"Roberts’s insight-laden book unravels multilayered legacies, temporalities and dynamics that are at the heart of understanding the Arab uprisings and their far-reaching consequences"
—Tamirace Fakhoury, Aalborg University, co-author of Resisting Sectarianism

"This is an essential book on the Arab Spring. Every chapter is filled with golden nuggets. Roberts foresaw that the uprisings would end in tears. He had tangled with the military regimes of the region long enough to know that toppling them would not be easy."
—Joshua Landis, Director of the Center of Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma

"Hugh Roberts’s encyclopaedic knowledge, sharp insights and superb writing are on full display in this important collection of essays. Loved Egyptian Night presents an essential corrective to much of the conventional wisdom about the region’s decade of upheaval."
—Mouin Rabbani, co-editor of Jadaliyya