Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Rivalry That Unravelled the Middle East (Paperback)Kim Ghattas (author)
- 10+ in stock
Through three key events of 1979 leading to escalating tensions in the Middle East – the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the siege of the Holy Mosque in Mecca –Ghattas’s narrative history makes sense of the region’s myriad troubles.
A timely and unprecedented examination of how the modern Middle East unravelled, and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979
'What happened to us?'
For decades, the question has haunted the Arab and Muslim world, heard across Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and in the author's home country of Lebanon. Was it always so? When did the extremism, intolerance and bloodletting of today displace the region's cultural promise and diversity?
In Black Wave, award-winning journalist and author Kim Ghattas argues that the turning point in the modern history of the Middle East can be located in the toxic confluence of three major events in 1979: the Iranian revolution; the siege of the Holy Mosque in Mecca; and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Before this year, Saudi Arabia and Iran had been working allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region - but the radical legacy of these events made them mortal enemies, unleashing a process that transformed culture, society, religion and geopolitics across the region for decades to come.
Drawing on a sweeping cast of characters across seven countries over forty years, Ghattas demonstrates how this rivalry for religious and cultural supremacy has fed intolerance, suppressed cultural expression, encouraged sectarian violence, birthed groups like Hezbollah and ISIS and, ultimately, upended the lives of millions. At once bold and intimate, Black Wave is a remarkable and engrossing story of the Middle East as it has never been told before.
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 194 x 128 x 34 mm
'A timely and welcome guide to the politics of a region that has long been shaken by regional rivalries…a sobering testament to all those who have dreamt of a different Middle East.' - The Financial Times
'This first-class blend of reportage and recent history explains how three events in 1979 - the Iranian revolution, the Grand Mosque siege in Mecca, the Soviet invasion of Afganistan - shaped the region.' - The Saturday Times
'Ghattas has an enviable gift of going beyong politics…' - The Observer
'...a fascinating and winding but highly readable tale' - The Saturday Times
"Black wave is a cri de coeur, an action-packed modern history written with the pace of a detective thriller." - The Sunday Times
'Skillfully written and scrupulously researched, Black Wave is an essential book in understanding the origins of the modern conflicts in the Middle East.' - Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower
'The framing of Black Wave is as important as the content. Kim Ghattas portrays the last four decades across the Middle East as a kind of Islamic Dark Ages, a world dimmed behind a curtain of violence, misogyny, and religious extremism. In exploring how this blackness came to be, she both reminds us of a brighter past and holds out the possibility of a future of light. It's a powerful and important book.' - Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of the New America Foundation
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