The books under review are a chronicle of the instabilities and death and destruction that have plagued the wider West Asian region in the recent past. Vijay Prashad brings to note the ‘slow political death of the idea of Arab nationalism’ by highlighting the chaos engulfing Iraq, Syria and Libya and the destructive role of regional players (p. 6). The author critically analyses the socio-political churning that is taking place across the region, combining his analysis often with first-hand accounts from the ground. In Egypt for instance, the author finds that divisions within society run deep and opinions are divided whether the military rule of General al Sisi was good for the country in the long term. Across the region, terrorism provides a convenient alibi for the rulers to crackdown on every form of dissent.

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