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When, in early 2011, people poured onto the streets of Arab cities to demand freedom, it was not for the first time. An earlier spate of revolutions had swept the Arab world in the 1950s and 1960s to throw off the shackles of colonialism. Those revolutions that had promised so much bequeathed the recent crop of Arab despots. What then, of the chances for success this time? This elegantly written, concise, yet detailed book is essential to understanding a fast-changing political landscape. It first puts the recent Arab awakening into historical context, then traces the progress and fates so far of revolutions in various Arab countries, examining the jubilant overthrow of tyrants in some cases and the even more brutal repression in others. Finally, it explores the threats and opportunities facing the victorious revolutionaries, the development of democratic institutions, and the meaning and consequences of Islamist victories at the polls.