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Yale University Press

In this free download, Yale University Press presents chapters from three of its acclaimed, prescient and immensely readable books on the Arab region.



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The events of January and February 2011 have shaken not only the Middle East and North Africa but the whole world.

Starting in Tunisia in December 2010, unrest has spiraled through the Arab world, with extraordinary results: following mass uprisings, the Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben-Ali has fled the country, while his counterpart Hosni Mubarak of Egypt decided to stand down with immediate effect. Meanwhile, Algeria – also ruled by a military dictatorship – has seen major riots, with several protestors killed, while similar demonstrations in Yemen have led President Saleh to announce that he will not seek another term in office.

Crisis in the Arab World is a free sampler of Yale books that discuss these three febrile regions. For more information, see below:


In Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to Mubarak (2011), Tarek Osman looks at the situation of his fellow young Egyptians – tech-savvy and full of passion, but deeply frustrated by the corrupt, economically stagnant Egyptian state.

‘The book is short, readable, clear, and passionately written. A good introduction to Egypt's story’
—The Boston Globe


In Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (2008, updated 2011), Martin Evans and John Phillips ask how long Algerians will put up with their repressive military regime, whose only opposition consists of intermittent al-Qaeda attacks.

‘As this chilling and important book makes clear, [Algeria] remains a country controlled by unelected men who have left most of hte population disinherited and at continuing risk of political violence.’
—Foreign Affairs


In Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes (2010), Victoria Clark analyses the prospects for a country with 40% unemployment, near-exhausted water supplies, and a long-running rebellion in the southern provinces.

‘This book is compulsory reading for anyone who wants to get to grips with Yemen's pit of slithery serpents.’
—The Economist