Vijay Prashad’s Arab Spring, Libyan Winter

Posted Wednesday February 22nd 2012 by Jen Angel

"Throughout the tumultuous course of the Arab uprisings Vijay Prashad has been a constant source of insightful commentary. In today's world, his combination of intellectual rigor and desire to see a better future is a powerful and much needed antidote to the prevailing pessimism."—Adam Hanieh, SOAS, University of London

Need a primer on Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia? Vijay Prashad's new book, Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, to be released on AK Press in April, is the book you need.

It includes an overview of the the Arab Spring - not just what happened by why; A historical analysis of the Libyan political situation, including the rise of social movements and government forces since the 1990s; and most importantly, Vijay argues that the case that the Libyan situation is a dramatic departure from historical interventions in the name of human rights. Vijay argues that we are moving from an investigate-document-prosecute to an increasingly militarized response by NATO, the UN, and other dominant forces.

Arab Spring Libyan Winter takes the long view, including historical context for current events, and discussing possible interventions. What's going to happen next?

If you're interested in reviewing the book or interviewing Vijay, please email Jen.

Here's a video of Vijay on Democracy Now from February 21: more information is available on the AK Press website and complete information about the book is below.

More about the Book:

In 2010 the Arab Spring startled the planet. Mass action overthrew Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak. The revolutionary wave spread to the far corners of the Arab world, from Morocco to Bahrain. It seemed as if all the authoritarian states would finally be freed, even those of the Arabian Peninsula.

This wave of people's power went counter to the forces of Order: the U.S., the Europeans, the Israelis and the Sheikhs of the Arab world acted swiftly to end the Spring. Libya—in which social forces opposed to Qaddafi had begun to rebel, but were weak—provided the fulcrum. In came France and the United States, with promises of glory if their own military power was allowed to enter the equation. A deal was cut with the Saudis, who then sent in their own forces to cut down the Bahraini revolution, and NATO began its assault on Libya. The world watched as the Libyan Winter overshadowed the Arab Spring.

This brief, timely analysis situates the assault on Libya in the context of the winds of revolt that swept through the Middle East in the Spring of 2011. In Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, Vijay Prashad explores the recent history of the Qaddafi regime, the emergence of social forces that opposed Qaddafi, the place of the Libyan revolt in the wider Arab Spring, the creation of the two UN resolutions on Libya, the NATO air campaign in relation to the Saudi campaign in Bahrain, the attempt by the African Union and the BRICS states to craft out a diplomatic solution, and the eventual bloody civil war that ensued, lead- ing up to the dramatic and deeply probematic death of Muammar Quaddafi in October 2011.

About the Author:

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian history and the Director of International Studies at Trinity Col- lege in Hartford, CT. He is the author of eleven books, including Karma of Brown Folk (2000) and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fight- ing: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2001) which were selected by The Village Voice as one of their "Top 25 books of the year." His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New Press, 2008) won the Mu- zaffar Ahmad Book Award of 2009.

In 2012, he will release five books: Uncle Swami (New Press), The Poorer Nations: A Possible His- tory of the Global South (Verso), Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press), Dispatches from Pakistan (LeftWord) and Dispatches from the Arab Revolt (LeftWord). The last two are part of a series, the first volume of which was Dispatches from Latin America, edited with Teo Ballvé.

He writes regularly for Frontline (India), Himal (Nepal), Bol (Pakistan), and Counterpunch.