DREAMS and SHADOWS captures the Middle East in the midst of a historic transition. It draws on thirty-five years of reporting—through wars, revolutions, and uprisings as well as the birth of new democracy movements and a new generation of activists—in two dozen countries. The transformation that has swept the rest of the world over the past quarter century—with communism's demise in eastern Europe, apartheid's collapse in Africa, and the end of military dictatorships in Latin America—is finally reaching the last bloc of countries to hold out against the democratic tide.
But the Middle East's transition is also already proving to be the most painful for both those inside and outside the region.
Dreams and Shadows is a tour d'horizon to probe what lies ahead.
Drawing on firsthand interviews during journeys across the Middle East and North Africa and the Persian Gulf, the book is animated by the characters whose stories give the region's transformation its human immediacy and urgency—from the region's emirs and kings to the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah, from political prisoners to street protesters, from the autocrats to the theocrats, and most of all a new generation of activists redefining the political debate at great personal risk. It is also rich with the history that brought us to this point. Dreams and Shadows is a masterpiece of the reporter's art and a work of profound and enduring insight.
The transformation of the Middle East is the issue that will most absorb—and challenge—the world for at least the next generation. Dreams and Shadows is the book to read to understand it.