Best Selling Books by Fawaz A Gerges

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release date: Apr 03, 2018
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Making the Arab World: Nasser, Qutb, and the Clash That Shaped the Middle East

How the conflict between political Islamists and secular-leaning nationalists has shaped the history of the modern Middle East

In 2013, just two years after the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian military ousted the country’s first democratically elected president―Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood―and subsequently led a brutal repression of the Islamist group. These bloody events echoed an older political rift in Egypt and the Middle East: the splitting of nationalists and Islamists during the rule of Egyptian president and Arab nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. In Making the Arab World, Fawaz Gerges, one of the world’s leading authorities on the Middle East, tells how the clash between pan-Arab nationalism and pan-Islamism has shaped the history of the region from the 1920s to the present.

Gerges tells this story through an unprecedented dual biography of Nasser and another of the twentieth-century Arab world’s most influential figures―Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the father of many branches of radical political Islam. Their deeply intertwined lives embody and dramatize the divide between Arabism and Islamism. Yet, as Gerges shows, beyond the ideological and existential rhetoric, this is a struggle over the state, its role, and its power.

Based on a decade of research, including in-depth interviews with many leading figures in the story, Making the Arab World is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the roots of the turmoil engulfing the Middle East, from civil wars to the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

release date: Mar 14, 2017
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ISIS: A History

The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS.

The book describes how ISIS emerged in the chaos of Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion, how the group was strengthened by the suppression of the Arab Spring and by the war in Syria, and how ISIS seized leadership of the jihadist movement from Al Qaeda. Part of a militant Sunni revival, ISIS claims its goals are to resurrect a caliphate and rid "Islamic lands" of all Shia and other minorities. In contrast to Al Qaeda, ISIS initially focused on the "near enemy"―Shia, the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, and secular, pro-Western states in the Middle East. But in a tactical shift ISIS has now taken responsibility for spectacular attacks in Europe and other places beyond the Middle East, making it clear that the group is increasingly interested in targeting the "far enemy" as well. Ultimately, the book shows how decades of dictatorship, poverty, and rising sectarianism in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign intervention, led to the rise of ISIS―and why addressing those problems is the only way to ensure its end.

An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.

release date: Jul 16, 2013
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Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment?
Published to widespread media acclaim, Fawaz Gerges's work takes on the past, present, and future of the United States' relationship with the Middle East. Gerges, one of the world's top Middle East scholars, examines the US–Middle East relationship Obama has inherited, analyzes the administration's responses to the challenges it has faced, and highlights what must change in order to improve US outcomes in the region. Evaluating the president's engagement with the Arab Spring, his decision to order the death of Osama bin Laden, his intervention in Libya, and his relations with Iran, Gerges reaches a sobering conclusion: the United States is near the end of its moment in the Middle East. The cynically realist policy it has employed since World War II―and that the Obama administration has continued―is at the root of current bitterness and mistrust, and it is time to remake American foreign policy.
release date: Dec 30, 2013
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The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World
The New Middle East is one of the first comprehensive books written by prominent scholars of the region and of comparative politics to critically examine the Arab popular uprisings of 2011-2012. While these uprisings prompted a number of cursory publications, this volume contains meticulous and thoughtful reflections on the causes, drivers and effects of these seminal events on the internal, regional and international politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Although specific conditions in individual countries that have experienced large-scale popular mobilizations are investigated, they are neither treated in isolation nor separated from broader developments in the region. Instead, the authors highlight connections between individual case studies and systemic conditions throughout the Arab arena. These include the crisis of political authority, the failure of economic development and new genres of mobilization and activism, especially communication technology and youth movements. The careful analysis and reflection on the prospects for democratic change in the region ensures the book will have both an immediate and enduring appeal.
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release date: Mar 05, 2007
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Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy
Renowned Middle Eastern expert Fawaz A. Gerges takes us into the mind-set of the jihadi―or holy warrior―that lies behind so many headlines yet remains nearly impenetrable to us. Using his firsthand knowledge of the "Arab street," he brings to life the stories of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the Jihadist Movement, as well as dozens of other Islamic fundamentalists, as they struggle with the battle being waged for the soul of Islam.

Journey of the Jihadist puts a human face to events of the last thirty years―from the civil war in Lebanon to the war in Iraq to the conflict in Lebanon today. This important work, now with a new afterword addressing the rise of Hezbollah, will join the ranks of those by Thomas L. Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, and Bernard Lewis.


 
 
release date: Apr 06, 2009
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The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global
Fawaz Gerges' book on al Qaeda and the jihadist movement has become a classic in the field since it was published in 2005. Here he argued that far from being an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad against the Christian West, as many misguided political commentators and politicians opined, al Qaeda represented a small faction within the jihadist movement, criticized by other groups who preferred to concentrate on changing the Muslim world, rather than attacking the Far Enemy and making the fight global. In the intervening years, with the advance of the 'War on Terror' and the invasion of Iraq, much has changed and, just as Gerges showed, al Qaeda's fortunes have taken a significant downturn. Revisiting The Far Enemy in this new edition, Gerges demonstrates that not only have the jihadists split ranks, but that voices from within the ultra-religious right, those that previously supported al Qaeda, are condemning its tactics as violent, unethical, and out of accord with the true meaning of jihad. In fact, millions of Muslims worldwide have rejected al-Qaeda's ideology and strategies and blame Osama bin Laden and his cohorts for the havoc the organisation has wrecked on their communities. Al-Qaeda is now in the wilderness suffering massive erosion of authority and legitimacy in Muslim eyes and facing a fierce revolt from within. As Gerges warns, the next US administration would do well to use political and socio-economic strategies rather than military means to ensure that it stays there.
A Brief History of Saudi Arabia

From the dramatic rise in oil prices to the rights of women—an updated look at the history and developments of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a country in transition, slowly but steadily changing from within and increasingly flexing its muscle and influence regionally. The country has entered the new century as a pivotal regional power. As the birthplace of Islam, it remains a powerful moral leader of the Muslim world, particularly the Arab arena. Its response to domestic terrorism has shown that the monarchy has the drive to confront destabilizing elements within its borders and the increasing value of its oil has provided financial and political security at home. Yet Saudi Arabia still faces the challenges of unemployment for many of its citizens, and its education system makes it difficult for Saudi youth to compete in the global market. While the country held its first elections in history in 2005, the war in Iraq has deepened the divide between Sunni and Shiite policies.

From Saudi Arabia's pre-Islamic history to the events of today, A Brief History of Saudi Arabia, Second Edition offers a balanced, informative perspective on the country's long history. Complete with black-and-white illustrations, maps, charts, a chronology, and basic facts, this comprehensive overview of the history of Saudi Arabia places the political, economic, and cultural events of today into a broad historical context.

Coverage includes:

  • Pre-Islamic Arabia
  • Bedouin society and culture
  • The birth and spread of Islam
  • The development of and philosophy behind Wahhabism
  • The origins of the House of Saud
  • Saudi Arabia's role in the Middle East
  • Saudi Arabia's relationship to the United States
  • The battle between conservative and progressive elements in the monarchy today
  • The reign of King Abdullah.
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release date: Oct 01, 2010
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Jews and the Muslim World: Solving the Puzzle
Was there a golden age when Muslims and Jews lived together peacefully, or is the story more complex? What has happened between Muslims and Jews in the past few centuries that has so poisoned interactions between the two? And, most important, what can we do about the relations between Muslims and Jews now? This publication features thoughts from historians, scholars and activists who all participated in a conference held by The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2007. It was also a memorial tribute to Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of the Humanistic Judaism movement, which emphasizes that you do not have to be religious in order to consider yourself Jewish. This volume offers selected proceedings of that event, including presentations by media commentator and professor Fawaz Gerges, Anti-­Semitism expert Yehuda Bauer, Sephardi/Mizrahi Jewish specialist Jane Gerber, progressive Muslim scholar Amir Hussain and others.
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release date: Feb 03, 2014
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The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda
In this concise and fascinating book, Fawaz A. Gerges argues that Al-Qaeda has degenerated into a fractured, marginal body kept alive largely by the self-serving anti-terrorist bureaucracy it helped to spawn.

In The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, Gerges, a public intellectual known widely for his expertise on radical ideologies, including jihadism, argues that the Western powers have become mired in a "terrorism narrative," stemming from the mistaken belief that America is in danger of a devastating attack by a crippled al-Qaeda. To explain why al-Qaeda is no longer a threat, he provides a briskly written history of the organization, showing its emergence from the disintegrating local jihadist movements of the mid-1990s-not just the Afghan resistance of the 1980s, as many believe-in "a desperate effort to rescue a sinking ship by altering its course." During this period, Gerges interviewed many jihadis, gaining a first-hand view of the movement that bin Laden tried to reshape by internationalizing it. Gerges reveals that transnational jihad has attracted but a small minority within the Arab world and possesses no viable social and popular base. Furthermore, he shows that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were a major miscalculation--no "river" of fighters flooded from Arab countries to defend al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, as bin Laden expected. The democratic revolutions that swept the Middle East in early 2011 show that al-Qaeda today is a non-entity which exercises no influence over Arabs' political life.

Gerges shows that there is a link between the new phenomenon of homegrown extremism in Western societies and the war on terror, particularly in Afghanistan-Pakistan, and that homegrown terror exposes the structural weakness, not strength, of bin Laden's al-Qaeda. Gerges concludes that the movement has splintered into feuding factions, neutralizing itself more effectively than any Predator drone.

Forceful, incisive, and written with extensive inside knowledge, this book will alter the debate on global terrorism.
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release date: Sep 10, 2015
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Contentious Politics in the Middle East: Popular Resistance and Marginalized Activism beyond the Arab Uprisings (Middle East Today)
While the Arab people took center stage in the 'Arab Spring' protests, academic studies focus on state structure, regime nature, militaries, and external powers to understand popular uprisings in the Middle East. Contentious Politics in the Middle East redresses a gap in focus as it analyzes the complexities of popular agency through the framework of contentious politics theory, without neglecting the negotiations between the people and structural factors. The book's chapters apply familiar questions raised by theorists to the under-researched case study of the Middle East after the uprisings. Edited by Fawaz A. Gerges and featuring insights from top scholars, this collection seeks to answer these important questions as it advances contentious politics theory.

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