One of the most rewarding functions of the book review team is to facilitate innovative thoughts that engage our readers. Your book reviews and suggestions for books to review make a valuable contribution to Humanist Perspectives. Can you help by reading a free book and composing a review of 500-1,000 words?
One of the most rewarding functions of the book review team is to facilitate innovative thoughts that engage our readers. Your book reviews and suggestions for books to review make a valuable contribution to Humanist Perspectives. Can you help by reading a free book and composing a review of 500-1,000 words? Forward your book request or suggestions for review to [email protected]
The Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination.
Focusing on the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Tunisian struggle toward Islamic constitutionalism, Feldman provides an original account of the political consequences of the Arab Spring, including the reaffirmation of pan-Arab identity, the devastation of Arab nationalisms, and the death of political Islam with the collapse of ISIS. He also challenges commentators who say that the Arab Spring was never truly transformative, that Arab popular self-determination was a mirage, and even that Arabs or Muslims are less capable of democracy than other peoples.
Today, anti-humanism is a dominant, even definitive, feature of contemporary theory. This book sets out to challenge this by establishing the historical context that resulted in humanism’s eclipse, critiquing anti- humanism, and exploring alternative, neglected traditions and possible new directions.
Humanism is a diverse and complex tradition that may facilitate the renewal of progressive theory through the championing of human subjectivity, agency and freedom. Across four extended essays, David Alderson, Kevin Anderson, Barbara Epstein and Robert Spencer engage critically with the Marxist tradition, recent developments in poststructuralism, postcolonialism and queer theory.