Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East

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Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East
Title Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East
Author
Publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Release DateJanuary 28, 2020
Category History
Total Pages 386 pages
ISBN B07MMLTR7J
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 454 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

“[A] sweeping and authoritative history" (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an electrifying and audacious narrative examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the

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Black Wave by Kim Ghattas

Title Black Wave
Author Kim Ghattas
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2020-01-28
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781250131218
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 “[A] sweeping and authoritative history" (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.

Black Wave by Kim Ghattas

Title Black Wave
Author Kim Ghattas
Publisher Picador
Release Date 2021-01-05
Category History
Total Pages 400
ISBN 1250789389
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 “[A] sweeping and authoritative history" (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.

Black Wave by Kim Ghattas

Title Black Wave
Author Kim Ghattas
Publisher Hachette UK
Release Date 2020-01-17
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781472271112
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'Blistering' Sunday Times 'Indispensable' Observer 'Fascinating' The Times 'Brilliant' Peter Frankopan 'Revelatory' Lindsey Hilsum A timely and unprecedented examination of how the modern Middle East unravelled, and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Shortlisted for the Cundhill History Prize 2020 'What happened to us?' For decades, the question has haunted the Arab and Muslim world, heard across Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and in the author's home country of Lebanon. Was it always so? When did the extremism, intolerance and bloodletting of today displace the region's cultural promise and diversity? In Black Wave, award-winning journalist and author Kim Ghattas argues that the turning point in the modern history of the Middle East can be located in the toxic confluence of three major events in 1979: the Iranian revolution; the siege of the Holy Mosque in Mecca; and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Before this year, Saudi Arabia and Iran had been working allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region - but the radical legacy of these events made them mortal enemies, unleashing a process that transformed culture, society, religion and geopolitics across the region for decades to come. Drawing on a sweeping cast of characters across seven countries over forty years, Ghattas demonstrates how this rivalry for religious and cultural supremacy has fed intolerance, suppressed cultural expression, encouraged sectarian violence, birthed groups like Hezbollah and ISIS and, ultimately, upended the lives of millions. At once bold and intimate, Black Wave is a remarkable and engrossing story of the Middle East as it has never been told before.

Title The Secretary A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power
Author Kim Ghattas
Publisher Macmillan
Release Date 2013-03-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780805098334
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The first inside account to be published about Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, anchored by Ghattas's own perspective and her quest to understand America's place in the world In November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary. With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas draws on extensive interviews with Clinton, administration officials, and players in Washington as well as overseas, to paint an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most powerful global politicians. Filled with fresh insights, The Secretary provides a captivating analysis of Clinton's brand of diplomacy and the Obama administration's efforts to redefine American power in the twenty-first century. Populated with a cast of real-life characters, The Secretary tells the story of Clinton's transformation from popular but polarizing politician to America's envoy to the world in compelling detail and with all the tension of high stakes diplomacy. From her evolving relationship with President Obama to the drama of WikiLeaks and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, we see Clinton cheerfully boarding her plane at 3 a.m. after no sleep, reading the riot act to the Chinese, and going through her diplomatic checklist before signing on to war in Libya—all the while trying to restore American leadership in a rapidly changing world. Viewed through Ghattas's vantage point as a half-Dutch, half-Lebanese citizen who grew up in the crossfire of the Lebanese civil war, The Secretary is also the author's own journey as she seeks to answer the questions that haunted her childhood. How powerful is America really? And, if it is in decline, who or what will replace it and what will it mean for America and the world?

Mbs by Ben Hubbard

Title Mbs
Author Ben Hubbard
Publisher Crown
Release Date 2021-04-13
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781984823830
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A gripping, behind-the-scenes portrait of the rise of Saudi Arabia's secretive and mercurial new ruler "Revelatory . . . a vivid portrait of how MBS has altered the kingdom during his half-decade of rule."--The Washington Post MBS is the untold story of how a mysterious young prince emerged from Saudi Arabia's sprawling royal family to overhaul the economy and society of the richest country in the Middle East--and gather as much power as possible into his own hands. Since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne in 2015, Mohammed bin Salman has leveraged his influence to restructure the kingdom's economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes, and confront its enemies around the region, especially Iran. That vision won him fans at home and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood, and at the White House, where President Trump embraced the prince as a key player in his own vision for the Middle East. But over time, the sheen of the visionary young reformer has become tarnished, leaving many struggling to determine whether MBS is in fact a rising dictator whose inexperience and rash decisions are destabilizing the world's most volatile region. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, MBS reveals the machinations behind the kingdom's catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre detention of princes and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, and the shifting Saudi relationships with Israel and the United States. And finally, it sheds new light on the greatest scandal of the young autocrat's rise: the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, a crime that shook Saudi Arabia's relationship with Washington and left the world wondering whether MBS could get away with murder. MBS is a riveting, eye-opening account of how the young prince has wielded vast powers to reshape his kingdom and the world around him.

Pax Syriana by Rola El-Husseini

Title Pax Syriana
Author Rola El-Husseini
Publisher Syracuse University Press
Release Date 2012-12-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 319
ISBN 9780815651949
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Pax Syriana provides readers with a broad picture of what has changed, and what has failed to change, in the Lebanese political system after the end of the civil war.

The Last Kings Of Shanghai by Jonathan Kaufman

Title The Last Kings of Shanghai
Author Jonathan Kaufman
Publisher Penguin
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Category History
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ISBN 9780735224421
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"In vivid detail... examines the little-known history of two extraordinary dynasties."--The Boston Globe "Not just a brilliant, well-researched, and highly readable book about China's past, it also reveals the contingencies and ironic twists of fate in China's modern history."--LA Review of Books An epic, multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Shanghai, 1936. The Cathay Hotel, located on the city's famous waterfront, is one of the most glamorous in the world. Built by Victor Sassoon--billionaire playboy and scion of the Sassoon dynasty--the hotel hosts a who's who of global celebrities: Noel Coward has written a draft of Private Lives in his suite and Charlie Chaplin has entertained his wife-to-be. And a few miles away, Mao and the nascent Communist Party have been plotting revolution. By the 1930s, the Sassoons had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty--the Kadoories. These two Jewish families, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics for more than 175 years, profiting from the Opium Wars; surviving Japanese occupation; courting Chiang Kai-shek; and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Jonathan Kaufman tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world, but remained blind to the country's deep inequality and to the political turmoil at their doorsteps. In a story stretching from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London, Kaufman enters the lives and minds of these ambitious men and women to forge a tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue, and survival. The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons--and their exceptional foresight, success, and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Though their stay in China started out as a business opportunity, the country became a home they were reluctant to leave, even on the eve of revolution. The lavish buildings they built and the booming businesses they nurtured continue to define Shanghai and Hong Kong to this day. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.

Title The Failure of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab World
Author Nawaf Obaid
Publisher ABC-CLIO
Release Date 2020-01-31
Category History
Total Pages 339
ISBN 9781440873973
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to understand the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar's role in promoting the group, and the ideological, social, and religious factors that have led to its ultimate failure. The book begins by looking at the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in 1928 in Egypt. It then traces its ideology and expansion via the various affiliate organizations in the Arab world as well as its international presence up to the present day. Throughout this historical analysis, evidence is presented linking the MB again and again to political violence and a lack of a coherent policy. The book weaves into this history the influence of Qatari support, a clarification of the division between true Salafism and the MB's radical ideology, an explanation of how Jamal Khashoggi was a living metaphor for this misunderstanding, and the role the MB has played in various revolutionary movements throughout the Middle East. The book concludes with a current geopolitical outlook on the MB itself and the Arab world in which it resides. The book is extensively sourced with first-hand primary source quotes from numerous exclusive personal interviews conducted by the author, both with experts on the subject and officials in the region. Provides a detailed account of the Muslim Brotherhood's history and its affiliates in every relevant country Fully documents Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the nature of the current boycott against it led by Saudi Arabia Gives a novel perspective on the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology via a chapter-long discussion of Salafism Offers a candid, personal look at Jamal Khashoggi's struggle with his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Saudi Arabia and shows how this serves as a metaphor for the MB and its members

Title Re engaging the Middle East
Author Dafna H. Rand
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
Release Date 2020-09-22
Category Political Science
Total Pages 330
ISBN 9780815737629
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

It’s time for new policies based on changing U.S. interests U.S. policy in the Middle East has had very few successes in recent years, so maybe it’s time for a different approach. But is the new approach of the Trump administration—military disengagement coupled with unquestioning support for key allies--Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia—the way forward? In this edited volume, noted experts on the region lay out a better long-term strategy for protecting U.S. interests in the Middle East. The authors articulate a vision that is both self-interested and carefully tailored to the unique dynamics of the increasingly divergent sub-regions in the Middle East, including North Africa, the Sunni Arab bloc of Egypt and Persian Gulf states, and the increasingly chaotic Levant. The book argues that the most effective way to pursue and protect U.S. interests is unlikely to involve the same alliance-centric approach that has been the basis of Washington’s policy since the 1990s. Instead, the United States should adopt a nimbler and less military-dominant strategy that relies on a diversified set of partners and a determination to establish priorities for American interests and the use of resources, both financial and military. In essence, the book calls for a new post-Obama and post-Trump approach to the region that reflects the fact that U.S. interests are changing and likely will continue to change. The book offers a fresh perspective in advance of the 2020 presidential election.

Title In A Time Of Monsters
Author Emma Sky
Publisher Atlantic Books
Release Date 2019-02-07
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781786495617
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Returning to the UK in September 2010 after serving in Iraq as the political adviser to the top American general, Emma Sky felt no sense of homecoming. She soon found herself back in the Middle East travelling through a region in revolt. In A Time of Monsters bears witness to the demands of young people for dignity and justice during the Arab Spring; the inability of sclerotic regimes to reform; the descent of Syria into civil war; the rise of the Islamic State; and the flight of refugees to Europe. With deep empathy for its people and an extensive understanding of the Middle East, Sky makes a complex region more comprehensible. A great storyteller and observational writer, Sky also reveals the ties that bind the Middle East to the West and how blowback from our interventions in the region contributed to the British vote to leave the European Union and to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

Title The Way of the Strangers
Author Graeme Wood
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date 2019-05-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780812988772
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The definitive book on the distinctive history and psychology of ISIS, based on Wood's unprecedented access to the Islamic State's own recruiters and supporters, and his extensive time reporting throughout the region. Based on interviews with Islamic State members and supporters, Wood delivers a fast-paced, riveting narrative about what the Islamic State wants and how it plans to get it. The true story of the on-the-ground reality of the wealthiest, most infamous jihadist group in our world today. A deep dive into the heart of the Islamic State's apocalyptic worldview, this is a bracing look at this terrorist cult from the people who belong to it, promote it and recruit for it.

The Prophet S Heir by Hassan Abbas

Title The Prophet s Heir
Author Hassan Abbas
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2021-03-16
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780300252057
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The life and legacy of one of Mohammad’s closest confidants and Islam’s patron saint: Ali ibn Abi Talib Ali ibn Abi Talib is arguably the single most important spiritual and intellectual authority in Islam after prophet Mohammad. Through his teachings and leadership as fourth caliph, Ali nourished Islam. But Muslims are divided on whether he was supposed to be Mohammad’s political successor—and he continues to be a polarizing figure in Islamic history. Hassan Abbas provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of this towering yet divisive figure and the origins of sectarian division within Islam. Abbas reveals how, after Mohammad, Ali assumed the spiritual mantle of Islam to spearhead the movement that the prophet had led. While Ali’s teachings about wisdom, justice, and selflessness continue to be cherished by both Shia and Sunni Muslims, his pluralist ideas have been buried under sectarian agendas and power politics. Today, Abbas argues, Ali’s legacy and message stands against that of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Taliban.

A Short History Of Russia by Mark Galeotti

Title A Short History of Russia
Author Mark Galeotti
Publisher Harlequin
Release Date 2020-07-07
Category History
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9781488076107
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Library Journal 2020 Title to Watch Russia’s epic and dramatic history told in an accessible, lively and short form, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin via Catherine the Great, the Russian Revolution and the fall of the USSR. Russia is a country with no natural borders, no single ethnic group, no true central identity. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it has been subject to invasion by outsiders, from Vikings to Mongols, from Napoleon’s French to Hitler’s Germans. In order to forge an identity, it has mythologized its past to unite its people and to signal strength to outsiders. In A Short History of Russia, Mark Galeotti explores the history of this fascinating, glorious, desperate and exasperating country through two intertwined issues: the way successive influences from beyond its borders have shaped Russia, and the way Russians came to terms with this influence, writing and rewriting their past to understand their present and try to influence their future. In turn, this self-invented history has come to affect not just their constant nation-building project but also their relations with the world.

Exercise Of Power by Robert M. Gates

Title Exercise of Power
Author Robert M. Gates
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2020
Category Political Science
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9781524731885
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the former secretary of defense and author of the acclaimed #1 best-selling memoir, Duty, a candid, sweeping examination of power in all its manifestations, and how it has been exercised, for good and bad, by American presidents in the post-Cold War world. Since the end of the Cold War, the global perception of the United States has progressively morphed from dominant international leader to disorganized entity, seemingly unwilling to accept the mantle of leadership or unable to govern itself effectively. Robert Gates argues that this transformation is the result of the failure of political leaders to understand the complexity of American power, its expansiveness, and its limitations. He makes clear that the successful exercise of power is not limited to the use of military might or the ability to coerce or demand submission, but must encompass as well diplomacy, economics, strategic communications, development assistance, intelligence, technology, ideology, and cyber. By analyzing specific challenges faced by the American government in the post-Cold War period--Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Russia, China, and others--Gates deconstructs the ways in which leaders have used the instruments of power available to them. With forthright judgments of the performance of past presidents and their senior-most advisers, firsthand knowledge, and insider stories, Gates argues that U.S. national security in the future will require learning, and abiding by, the lessons of the past, and re-creating those capabilities that the misuse of power has cost the nation.

Yemen by Victoria Clark

Title Yemen
Author Victoria Clark
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2010-02-23
Category History
Total Pages 311
ISBN 9780300167344
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Yemen is the dark horse of the Middle East. Every so often it enters the headlines for one alarming reason or another -- links with al-Qaeda, kidnapped Westerners, explosive population growth -- then sinks into obscurity again. But, as Victoria Clark argues in this riveting book, we ignore Yemen at our peril. The poorest state in the Arab world, it is still dominated by its tribal makeup and has become a perfect breeding ground for insurgent and terrorist movements. Clark returns to the country where she was born to discover a perilously fragile state that deserves more of our understanding and attention. On a series of visits to Yemen between 2004 and 2009, she meets politicians, influential tribesmen, oil workers and jihadists as well as ordinary Yemenis. Untangling Yemen's history before examining the country's role in both al-Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement today, Clark presents a lively, clear, and up-to-date account of a little-known state whose chronic instability is increasingly engaging the general reader"--Publisher description.

Title Cold War in the Islamic World
Author Dilip Hiro
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2019-02-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 186
ISBN 9780190050337
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

For four decades Saudi Arabia and Iran have vied for influence in the Muslim world. At the heart of this ongoing Cold War between Riyadh and Tehran lie the Sunni-Shia divide, and the two countries' intertwined histories. Saudis see this as a conflict between Sunni and Shia; Iran's ruling clerics view it as one between their own Islamic Republic and an illegitimate monarchy. This foundational schism has played out in a geopolitical competition for dominance in the region: Iran has expanded its influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, while Saudi Arabia's hyperactive crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, has intervened in Yemen, isolated Qatar and destabilized Lebanon. Dilip Hiro examines the toxic rivalry between the two countries, tracing its roots and asking whether this Islamic Cold War is likely to end any time soon.

Red Line by Joby Warrick

Title Red Line
Author Joby Warrick
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2021-02-23
Category Political Science
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780385544474
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Black Flags, the thrilling unknown story of America’s mission in Syria: to find and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and keep them out of the hands of the Islamic State In August 2012, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was clinging to power in a vicious civil war. When secret intelligence revealed that the dictator might resort to using chemical weapons, President Obama warned that doing so would cross “a red line.” Assad did it anyway, bombing the Damascus suburb of Ghouta with sarin gas, killing hundreds of civilians and forcing Obama to decide if he would mire America in another unpopular Middle Eastern war. When Russia offered to broker the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons, Obama leapt at the out. So begins an electrifying race to find, remove, and destroy 1,300 tons of chemical weapons in the midst of a raging civil war. The extraordinary little-known effort is a triumph for the Americans, but soon Russia’s long game becomes clear: it will do anything to preserve Assad’s rule. As America’s ability to control events in Syria shrinks, the White House learns that ISIS, building its caliphate in Syria’s war-tossed territory, is seeking chemical weapons for itself, with an eye to attacking the West. Red Line is a classic Joby Warrick true-life thriller: a character-driven narrative with a cast of heroes and villains, including weapons hunters, politicians, doctors, diplomats, and spies. Drawing on astonishing original reporting, Warrick reveals how the United States embarked on a bold adventure to prevent one catastrophe but could not avoid a tragic chain of events that empowered America’s enemies.

The Twilight War by David Crist

Title The Twilight War
Author David Crist
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2012-07-19
Category History
Total Pages 656
ISBN 9781101572344
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty-year conflict with Iran, revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open war For three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war. It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told. This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf. Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency. Battles are fought at sea with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare. It is a story of shocking miscalculations, bitter debates, hidden casualties, boldness, and betrayal. A senior historian for the federal government with unparalleled access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S. administrations, Crist has spent more than ten years researching and writing The Twilight War, and he breaks new ground on virtually every page. Crist describes the series of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States after 9/11, culminating in Iran's proposal for a grand bargain for peace-which the Bush administration turned down. He documents the clandestine counterattack Iran launched after America's 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which thousands of soldiers disguised as reporters, tourists, pilgrims, and aid workers toiled to change the government in Baghdad and undercut American attempts to pacify the Iraqi insurgency. And he reveals in vivid detail for the first time a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, both successes and failures, and their typically unexpected consequences. Much has changed in the world since 1979, but Iran and America remain each other's biggest national security nightmares. "The Iran problem" is a razor-sharp briar patch that has claimed its sixth presidential victim in Barack Obama and his administration. The Twilight War adds vital new depth to our understanding of this acute dilemma it is also a thrillingly engrossing read, animated by a healthy irony about human failings in the fog of not-quite war.

The Shadow Commander by Arash Azizi

Title The Shadow Commander
Author Arash Azizi
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781786079459
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

When the US assassinated Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, he was one of the most powerful men in Iran. The military spearhead for Iranian foreign policy, he enacted the wishes of the country’s Supreme Leader, establishing the Islamic Republic as a major force in the Middle East. He masterminded interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, supporting Iran’s allies and campaigning against the Taliban, US forces, Israel and ISIS. But all this was a long way from where he began – on the margins of a country whose ruler was regarded as a friend of the West. In this gripping account, Arash Azizi examines Soleimani’s life, regional influence and future ambitions. He breaks new ground through interviews with Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians who knew Soleimani for years, including his personal driver, the aides who accompanied him to his Moscow meeting with Vladimir Putin, and his brother. Through Soleimani, Azizi reveals the true nature of Iran’s global ambitions, providing a rare insight into a country whose actions are much talked about but seldom understood.

The House Of Islam by Ed Husain

Title The House of Islam
Author Ed Husain
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date 2018-06-19
Category Political Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781632866417
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“Ed Husain has become one of the most vital Muslim voices in the world. The House of Islam could very well be his magnum opus.” -Reza Aslan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot “This should be compulsory reading.” -Peter Frankopan, author of the international bestseller The Silk Roads Today, Islam is to many in the West an alien force, with Muslims held in suspicion. Failure to grasp the inner workings of religion and geopolitics has haunted American foreign policy for decades and has been decisive in the new administration's controversial orders. The intricacies and shadings must be understood by the West not only to build a stronger, more harmonious relationship between the two cultures, but also for greater accuracy in predictions as to how current crises, such as the growth of ISIS, will develop and from where the next might emerge. The House of Islam addresses key questions and points of disconnection. What are the roots of the conflict between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims that is engulfing Pakistan and the Middle East? Does the Koran encourage the killing of infidels? The book thoughtfully explores the events and issues that have come from and contributed to the broadening gulf between Islam and the West, from the United States' overthrow of Iran's first democratically elected leader to the emergence of ISIS, from the declaration of a fatwa on Salman Rushdie to the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Authoritative and engaging, Ed Husain leads us clearly and carefully through the nuances of Islam and its people, taking us back to basics to contend that the Muslim world need not be a stranger to the West, nor our enemy, but our peaceable allies.

The Heart Of Russia by Scott M. Kenworthy

Title The Heart of Russia
Author Scott M. Kenworthy
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2010
Category History
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9780199736133
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Studies in particular monastic revivals in the 19th and 20th centuries, as epitomized by Trinity-Sergius.

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