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Prepared with assistance from Anjishnu Das, Oswaldo Gomez, and Tal Newfield.


How We Won & Lost the War in Afghanistan: Two Years in the Pashtun Homeland, by Douglas Grindle. Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, 2017. 280 pages. $29.95. In this personal account, analyst Douglas Grindle writes on spending two years in southern Afghanistan working for the United States Agency for International Development. Grindle evaluates the efficacy of American efforts in rebuilding the nation after the fight against insurgencies killed millions and left Afghanistan in ruins. Working as a field program officer in Kandahar Province, Grindle provides a firsthand narrative of collaborating with local officials and international representatives to bring essential services to Afghans. Grindle's book embodies Afghans' perspective to highlight the US's failure in adequately providing and directing aid, and its failure to empower local officials to build and maintain permanent institutions. Drawing from experiences on the ground, Grindle's book is illustrative of the realities of Afghanistan and the state the US has left it in. (AD)


Chronicles of the Egyptian Revolution and its Af termath: 2011–2016, by M. Cherif Bassiouni. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 819 pages. $34.99. Based on the late M. Cherif Bassiouni's "Egypt Updates," a series of reports and analyses of Egyptian affairs between 2011 and 2014 published on his website,, this book serves as a comprehensive historical record. An Egyptian scholar and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for helping establish the International Criminal Court, Bassiouni writes on the state of Egypt with a keen awareness of the significance of Egypt's stability to the rest of the Middle East. Bassiouni's text provides a descriptive chronological account of the popular uprising in Egypt, from the early protests against former president Husni Mubarak to the coming to the rise and demise of the Muslim Brotherhood and military coup that propelled 'Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi to the presidency. With data and statistics sourced predominantly from the public record, Bassiouni weaves the historical account with detailed footnotes, excerpts from speeches, passages from legislation, and reporting by local and international media to provide a fuller picture of the Egyptian revolution and its consequences. Bassiouni also dedicates several chapters to discussing the Sisi regime, its framework, institutions, and socioeconomic impact on the daily lives of Egyptians, from the justice system to the accessibility of resources. (AD)


Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom, by Norman Finkelstein. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. 440 pages. $34.95. In Gaza, political scientist Norman Finkelstein fiercely challenges the narrative of security and self-defense that Israel has used in order to justify its policies toward the Gaza Strip. Employing a plethora of economic and human rights reports, Finkelstein thoroughly investigates the the blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2007 and the recent military operations that it has conducted in the territory. Through an in-depth discussion, Finkelstein works to expose the devastating consequences of Israel's actions in an effort to demonstrate the various reasons that he believes that Palestinians are martyrs rather than a security threat. His work challenges readers by forcing them to face the brutality of Israel's Gaza policies and by ultimately causing them to question, what, if anything, can be done about any of this? (TN)

Employing the Enemy: The Story of Palestinian Labourers on Israeli Settlements, by Matthew Vickery. London: Zed Books, 2017. 140 pages. $24.95. In this text, journalist Matthew Vickery explores the phenomenon of Palestinian laborers who work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The material for this study is drawn from Vickery's own time in the Palestinian Territories, where he interacted with many of the laborers and even participated in the dangerous journey they make to and from their places of work. Beyond the raw retelling of the hardships that these laborers face, Vickery also examines the policies and methods employed by Israel in order to maintain what he sees as an exploitative labor market. (OG)


The Doha Experiment: Arab Kingdom, Catho lic College, Jewish Teacher, by Gary Wasserman. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017. 260 pages...


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pp. 172-174
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