Year: 2014

Reconstructing a Shattered Egyptian Army: War Minister Gen. Mohamed Fawzi’s Memoirs, 1967-1971

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By: Youssef H. Aboul Enein, Editor

Volume: 2 Issue: 11

November 2014

Review by:

Seth J. Frantzman, PhD

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Israel

On June 6 1967, Egyptian forces received orders from Abdel Hakim Amer to withdraw from Sinai. Amer was the head of the armed forces and a close colleague of Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The day before, Israel had launched a surprise attack on Egypt and Syria, with the intention of using surprise to overturn the Arab countries’ military might. But the Israelis never counted on the delusion, corruption, and incompetence that shot through the…

One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

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By: Mark LeVine
Mathias Mossberg, Editor

Volume: 2 Issue: 11

November 2014

Review by:

Andrew M. Wender, JD, PhD

University of Victoria

Victoria, BC, Canada

Especially when read in the wake of this year’s latest, tragically dispiriting developments in the thus-far interminable Israel-Palestine struggle — above all, the devastating Gaza-centered Summer war — One Land, Two States offers an innovative and sympathetic, if by its own seeming admission, a somewhat quixotic new “vision for an end [to occupation and] of conflict” (p. 2). As introduced by the editors, the core concept elaborated by the book’s various contributors has been germinating…

The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics

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By: John L. Esposito
Emad El-Din Shahin, Editor

Volume: 2 Issue: 10

October 2014

Review by:

Issa J. Boullata, PhD

McGill University

Montreal, Canada

This book was published one year before ISIS (or ISIL) appeared on the international scene and involved Syria and Iraq and a coalition of Western and other nations in fighting it as it attempted to establish, by violence, an “Islamic state” or a “caliphate” in the Levant, meanwhile causing loss of life and destruction, and committing barbarities of untold proportions. The book, therefore, does not deal with ISIS, but with previous movements, some more radical…

The Foreign Policies of Middle East States, (2nd Edition)

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By: Raymond Hinnebusch
Anoushiravan Ehteshami

Volume: 2 Issue: 10

October 2014

Review by:

Josef Olmert, PhD

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

It is arguably the case that Middle East politics have undergone a sea of change since the first edition of this book was published after the September 11, 2001 terror attack on the United States. It is timely, relevant, and useful to students, journalists, policy makers and not least, experts whose professional careers are devoted to this region of the world. The authors have presented a panoramic picture composed of a sound theoretical framework, augmented…

Women and Civil Society in Turkey: Women’s Movements in a Muslim Society

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By: Omer Caha

Volume: 2 Issue: 10

October 2014

Review by:

Mustafa Gokcek, PhD

Niagara University

Lewiston, NY

This book discusses civil society and the role of women’s movements within that society, particularly in Turkey. It argues that the feminist movement transformed the conceptual framework of civil society and the public sphere in Turkey. The book is divided into seven chapters, starting with a theoretical discussion of civil society and feminist movements; it then moves on to a chronological analysis of the development of civil society since the Ottoman period, and the feminist…

Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices

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By: Karen Exell
Trinidad Rico, Editor

Volume: 2 Issue: 10

October 2014

Review by:

James C. A. Redman, PhD

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

The focus of this volume is on the multifarious ways that cultural heritage — whether it is found in museums and historical sites or through intangible practices like oral traditions and performances — can be preserved, represented and received within the social frameworks that constitute the Arabian Peninsula. Simply put, in the succinct words of the editors, what emerges from this collection of essays is a relatively straightforward query: “[W]ho do these heritage projects and…

The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism have Undermined Democracy

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By: Zaid al-Ali

Volume: 2 Issue: 10

October 2014

Review by:

Seth J. Frantzman, PhD

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel

The trouble with writing on a current event or ongoing crises is that the publication is sure to be outdated by the time it goes to press. This is particularly evident when writing about Iraq. This book ends around late 2012 – early 2013. The rise of ISIS, the ethnic-cleansing of the Yezidis, and the forced relocation of many Christians, Shi‘a, and Kurds, were all incidents which followed publication of this book. Of course these…

Islam and the Foundations of Political Power

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By: Ali Abdel Razek
Abdou Filali-Ansary, Editor

Volume: 2 Issue: 9

September 2014

Review by:

Douglas H. Garrison, MA

University of Denver

Denver, CO

One of the most contentious debates within the Islamic world over the last century centers on the degree to which religion should shape and influence politics and governance. This debate helped spur and sustain many of the great political reform movements — progressive, conservative, and radical — of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. From the struggle to open Turkey’s political system to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and from the rise of transnational jihadi…

The Government and Politics of Lebanon

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By: Imad Salamey

Volume: 2 Issue: 8

August 2014

Review by:

Maximilian Felsch, PhD

Haigazian University

Beirut, LB

A concise university textbook on the government and politics of Lebanon seems to be a laudable, timely, and surely challenging project. The existing literature lacks a systematically organized monograph that adequately copes with the complex and diverse nature of Lebanon’s political, societal and economic system. Imad Salamey, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut, aims with his recent book titled The Government and Politics of Lebanon…

Women, Islam, and Resistance in the Arab World

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By: Maria Holt
Haifaa Jawad

Volume: 2 Issue: 8

August 2014

Review by:

Sahar Khamis, PhD

University of Maryland

College Park, MD

Most previous research on Arab women in general, and Muslim women in particular, has focused on issues such as the constraints confronted by many of them in the context of highly patriarchal, male-dominated societies, and what has been singled out by many scholars — oftentimes in a simplistic and unquestioning fashion — as manifestations of this social suppression, such as the phenomenon of veiling or re-veiling, in the midst of contemporary Islamic resurgence movements. The…

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