Beginning in January 2011, the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests, riots, and civil wars that comprised what many call “the Arab Spring” shook the world. These upheavals were spearheaded by youth movements, and yet the crucial role they played is relatively unknown. Middle East expert Juan Cole is here to share their stories.
For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. In The New Arabs he outlines the history that led to the dramatic changes in the region, and explores how a new generation of men and women are using innovative notions of personal rights to challenge the authoritarianism, corruption, and stagnation that had afflicted their societies.
Not all big cohorts of teenagers and twenty-somethings necessarily produce movements centered on their identity as youth, with a generational set of organizations, symbols, and demands rooted at least partially in the distinctive problems besetting people of their age. The Arab Millennials did. And, in a provocative and optimistic argument about the future of the Arab world, The New Arabs shows just how they did it.
Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon’s Egypt. He has been a regular guest on PBS’s News Hour and has also appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the TODAY show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! Aljazeera America and many others. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Iraq, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Syria, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. He has a regular column on the TruthDig.com. Visit JuanCole.com. (Simon and Schuster)