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”Davidson is especially dogged at following the money’e.g., the rise of crony-capitalist networks in the Gulf monarchies and the financing of al-Qaida and Islamic State An exhaustively researched account.” Kirkus Reviews
The brief euphoria that followed the Arab Spring’ of 2011 quickly gave way to religious politics, sectarian war, and the most brutal incarnations of Islamic extremism ever seen. In the aftermath, people around the world once more lamented the Middle East’s inability to build functioning modern states. However, the reality is that this turn of events fits firmly into a centuries-old pattern of uprisings and reactions involving not only the region’s elites and their opponents but also the interests of foreign powers.
Middle East expert Christopher M. Davidson makes the argument that the primary blame for the failure of the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamic extremists, including al-Qaeda and Islamic State, must rest with successive U.S. and U.K. governments. A systematic dissection of ongoing Western manipulations of the most powerful forces in the Middle East, Shadow Wars is a shocking book that demands to be read.
Christopher M. Davidson is a reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University. His last book, After the Sheikhs, was one of the Foreign Policy Association’s most significant books’ of 2013.