Dawisha traces the history of the Iraqi state from its inception in 1921 following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and up to the present day. He demonstrates how from the very beginning Iraq's ruling elites sought to unify this ethnically diverse and politically explosive society by developing state governance, fostering democratic institutions, and forging a national identity. Dawisha, who was born and raised in Iraq, gives rare insight into this culturally rich but chronically divided nation, drawing on a wealth of Arabic and Western sources to describe the fortunes and calamities of a state that was assembled by the British in the wake of World War I and which today faces what may be the most serious threat to survival that it has ever known.
Featuring Dawisha's insightful new afterword on recent political developments, Iraq is required reading for anyone seeking to make sense of what's going on in Iraq today, and why it has been so difficult to create a viable government there.
Dawisha argues that Arab nationalism--which, he says, was inspired by nineteenth-century German Romantic nationalism--really took root after World War I and not in the nineteenth century, as many believe, and that it blossomed only in the 1950s and 1960s under the charismatic leadership of Egypt's Gamal 'Abd al-Nasir. He traces the ideology's passage from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire through its triumphant ascendancy in the late 1950s with the unity of Egypt and Syria and with the nationalist revolution of Iraq, to the mortal blow it received in the 1967 Arab defeat by Israel, and its eventual eclipse. Dawisha criticizes the common failure to distinguish between the broader, cultural phenomenon of "Arabism" and the political, secular desire for a united Arab state that defined Arab nationalism. In recent decades competitive ideologies--not least, Islamic militancy--have inexorably supplanted the latter, he contends.
Dawisha, who grew up in Iraq during the heyday of Arab nationalism, infuses his work with rare personal insight and extraordinary historical breadth. In addition to Western sources, he draws on an unprecedented wealth of Arab political memoirs and studies to tell the fascinating story of one of the most colorful and significant periods of the contemporary Arab world. In doing so, he also gives us the means to more fully understand trends in the region today.
Complete with a hard-hitting new and expanded section that surveys recent nationalism and events in the Middle East, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century tells the fascinating story of one of the most colorful and significant periods in twentieth-century Middle Eastern history.
But this wasn’t the first time people in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere across the region had taken to the streets demanding fundamental change. An earlier generation, in the 1950s and 1960s, rose against Arab governments that were doing the bidding of colonial powers. A generation later, many of these revolutionary heroes and their inheritors had themselves become murderous tyrants, leading the people to rebel a second time.
In The Second Arab Awakening, distinguished academic and writer Adeed Dawisha brings a deep historical perspective to the recent Arab uprisings, tracing the fledgling and uncertain progress so far of these revolutions and the Islamist challenge that has emerged in their wake. Elegantly written, detailed yet concise, Dawisha’s illuminating exploration of the threats and opportunities facing the victorious revolutionaries provides necessary perspective on a fast-changing political landscape.