100 books like Libya's Fragmentation

By Wolfram Lacher,

Here are 100 books that Libya's Fragmentation fans have personally recommended if you like Libya's Fragmentation. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi

Ronald Bruce St John Author Of Historical Dictionary of Libya

From my list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first visited and worked in Libya in 1977. At the time, only a handful of books on Libya were available in English, and all of them were technical studies related to the petroleum industry. In an effort to better understand the political economy of this beautiful and intriguing state, I began to conduct my own field research. This research led to the publication in 1981 of two articles on Libya under the pseudonym of our two sons because it was dangerous for anyone to publish critical analysis of the Qaddafi regime. I remain fascinated with Libya, and over time, I have published five books and well over 100 articles and reviews on Libya.

Ronald's book list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire

Ronald Bruce St John Why did Ronald love this book?

Alison Pargeter is a leading member of the new generation of Western scholars focused on North Africa and the Middle East in general and Libya in particular.

An Arabist, she draws on original research and field interviews to offer fresh perspectives and nuanced views not found elsewhere. Libya: The Rise and Fall of Qaddafi is an account of the Qaddafi regime from its creation in September 1969 until the death of Qaddafi in October 2011.

Throughout the book, Pargeter disentangles involved, complicated issues and events and explores them in lucid, engaging, and approachable prose.

She concludes her excellent book with a few thoughts on the legacy of the Qaddafi regime, remarks some reviewers found unduly pessimistic.

Unfortunately, the concerns she expressed in her concluding chapter have been largely borne out in the post-Qaddafi era.

By Alison Pargeter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Libya as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entire story of Qaddafi's corrupt and repressive regime, the details of its downfall, and what Libya's future may hold in store

For a reader unfamiliar with the history of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi might be mistaken for a character in fiction. His eccentric leadership as the nation's "Brother Leader," his repressive regime, sponsorship of terrorist violence, unique vision of the state, and relentless hold on power all seem implausibly extreme. This riveting book documents the extraordinary reality of Qaddafi's rise and 42-year reign. It also explores the tenacious popular uprising that finally defeated him and the possibilities for Libya as…


Book cover of The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya

Ronald Bruce St John Author Of Historical Dictionary of Libya

From my list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first visited and worked in Libya in 1977. At the time, only a handful of books on Libya were available in English, and all of them were technical studies related to the petroleum industry. In an effort to better understand the political economy of this beautiful and intriguing state, I began to conduct my own field research. This research led to the publication in 1981 of two articles on Libya under the pseudonym of our two sons because it was dangerous for anyone to publish critical analysis of the Qaddafi regime. I remain fascinated with Libya, and over time, I have published five books and well over 100 articles and reviews on Libya.

Ronald's book list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire

Ronald Bruce St John Why did Ronald love this book?

Beginning with service as a military officer at the US embassy in Tripoli in 2009, Frederic Wehrey has had a long association with Libya.

This has enabled him to develop an unparalleled range of contacts inside and outside the country.

With a solid grounding in Libyan history, his analysis of socio-economic and political events has an authoritative freshness that few can equal.

In The Burning Shores, which focuses on Libya after the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, he explores the missteps and turning points that led to the splintering of Libya, an outcome he rightly believes was not preordained.

This is an exceptional book; it is authoritative, informative, accessible, and will stand the test of time. 

By Frederic Wehrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Burning Shores as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The death of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi freed Libya from forty-two years of despotic rule, raising hopes for a new era. But in the aftermath, the country descended into bitter rivalries and civil war, paving the way for the Islamic State and a catastrophic migrant crisis. In a fast-paced narrative that blends frontline reporting, analysis, and history, Frederic Wehrey tells the story of what went wrong. An Arabic-speaking Middle East scholar, Wehrey interviewed the key actors in Libya and paints vivid portraits of lives upended by a country in turmoil: the once-hopeful activists murdered or exiled, revolutionaries transformed into militia bosses…


Book cover of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

Ronald Bruce St John Author Of Historical Dictionary of Libya

From my list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first visited and worked in Libya in 1977. At the time, only a handful of books on Libya were available in English, and all of them were technical studies related to the petroleum industry. In an effort to better understand the political economy of this beautiful and intriguing state, I began to conduct my own field research. This research led to the publication in 1981 of two articles on Libya under the pseudonym of our two sons because it was dangerous for anyone to publish critical analysis of the Qaddafi regime. I remain fascinated with Libya, and over time, I have published five books and well over 100 articles and reviews on Libya.

Ronald's book list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire

Ronald Bruce St John Why did Ronald love this book?

In September 2012, radical Islamist terrorists attacked the US Diplomatic Mission and the CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher (Chris) Stevens and three other Americans.

Ethan Chorin, who has 17 years of experience in Libya, wisely begins his narrative of the attacks with an exploration of their antecedents in a wide-ranging discussion of political Islam in Qaddafi’s Libya.

He then recounts events on the day of the attack from a privileged viewpoint as he was both in Benghazi and in contact with Ambassador Stevens on that day.

Next, he discusses the multiple investigations and hearings post-Benghazi in which the Republican opposition sought political advantage, turning an uncertain and often unclear response by the Obama administration into a biting, prolonged critique that stretched over the next four years.

Ethan Chorin is a master storyteller who skillfully weaves anecdotes and personal experiences into a narrative that is likely to…

By Ethan Chorin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On September 11, 2012, Al Qaeda proxies attacked and set fire to the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing a US Ambassador and three other Americans.  The attack launched one of the longest and most consequential 'scandals' in US history, only to disappear from public view once its political value was spent. 

Written in a highly engaging narrative style by one of a few Western experts on Libya, and decidely non-partisan, Benghazi!: A New History is the first to provide the full context for an event that divided, incited, and baffled most of America for more than three years, while silently reshaping…


Book cover of Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi

Ronald Bruce St John Author Of Historical Dictionary of Libya

From my list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first visited and worked in Libya in 1977. At the time, only a handful of books on Libya were available in English, and all of them were technical studies related to the petroleum industry. In an effort to better understand the political economy of this beautiful and intriguing state, I began to conduct my own field research. This research led to the publication in 1981 of two articles on Libya under the pseudonym of our two sons because it was dangerous for anyone to publish critical analysis of the Qaddafi regime. I remain fascinated with Libya, and over time, I have published five books and well over 100 articles and reviews on Libya.

Ronald's book list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire

Ronald Bruce St John Why did Ronald love this book?

In Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi, Ulf Laessing sets out to explain why a country with an embarrassment of riches descended from a highly popular revolution into a failed state.

He focuses on the militias that sprang up to overturn the Qaddafi regime but then pursued separate agendas after the fighting ended.

In the process, the parameters of politics became less about democracy and the future direction of the country and more about control of the nation’s resources. Laessing’s focus on the militias makes two very important points that many authors fail to note.

First, the post-Qaddafi conflict is mostly about money, not ideology, and second, it has proved difficult to end the conflict because too many Libyans benefit from the status quo.

By Ulf Laessing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why has Libya fallen apart since 2011? The world has largely given up trying to understand how the revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi has left the country a failed state and a major security headache for Europe. Gaddafi's police state has been replaced by yet another dictatorship, amidst a complex conflict of myriad armed groups, Islamists, tribes, towns and secularists. What happened? One of few foreign journalists to have lived in post-revolution Tripoli, Ulf Laessing has unique insight into the violent nature of post-Gaddafi politics. Confronting threats from media-hostile militias and jihadi kidnappings, in a world where diplomats retreat to…


Book cover of The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

As a serious fan of Susan Glasser’s digital column on The New Yorker website, I had the bonus treat of listening to narrator Julia Whelan read the articles as a promotion for Audm back in the Days-of-Trump.

For this book, Glasser joins her husband Peter Baker, The New York Times’ chief White House correspondent, to co-author this impressive document, I loved this book. And it’s fat-free.

Full of stories on the brink of disaster during the Trump years are briskly told with a calm, reasoned voice – kind of like a walk down memory lane! Curious that reading about the events that had me bubbling up with anger at the time, is now replaced with understanding and acceptance of the man Trump as a phenomenon, and with this account I may have read enough about the man in the White House from 2017 to 2021.

By Peter Baker, Susan Glasser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Divider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ABest Book of the Year: The New Yorker and Financial Times • "The most comprehensive and detailed account of the Trump presidency yet published."—The Washington Post

"A sumptuous feast of astonishing tales...The more one reads, the more one wishes to read."—NPR.com

The inside story of the four years when Donald Trump went to war with Washington, from the chaotic beginning to the violent finale, told by revered journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker—an ambitious and lasting history of the full Trump presidency that also contains dozens…


Book cover of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Julie Salamon Author Of An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

From my list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my working life as a journalist, author and storyteller, aiming to uncover complexity that sheds new light on stories we think we know. I got my training at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—and from the wonderful editors of my twelve books. An Innocent Bystander, my book that deals with the Middle East, began as the story of a hijacking and a murder of an American citizen. But as my research widened, I came to see this story couldn’t be told without understanding many perspectives, including the Israeli and the Palestinian, nor could the political be disentangled from the personal.

Julie's book list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Julie Salamon Why did Julie love this book?

My Promised Land is beautifully written, a story deeply informed by the author’s family history and the body of knowledge he built as an influential Israeli journalist.

Shavit loves the place of his birth but doesn’t retreat from hard questions. He tells a powerful, poignant story of a state-created out of tragedy and the brutal reality of what Jewish statehood has wrought for yet another disinherited group.

There are no easy answers, and Shavit offers none. But he presents the complexities and frustrations with intellectual rigor and literary grace.

By Ari Shavit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Promised Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today
 
Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal…


Book cover of The Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Author Of Israeli Institutions at the Crossroads

From my list on Israel studies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, DPhil, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, is Professor of Politics, Founding Director of the Middle East Study Centre, University of Hull; Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Vice President of The Association for Israel Studies. Raphael taught, inter alia, at Oxford (UK), Jerusalem, Haifa (Israel), UCLA, Johns Hopkins (USA), and Nirma University (India). He was twice a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London. Raphael Has published extensively about Israel, including Basic Issues in Israeli Democracy (Hebrew), Israeli Democracy at the Crossroads, and Public Responsibility in Israel (with Ori Arbel-Ganz and Asa Kasher Hebrew).

Raphael's book list on Israel studies

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Why did Raphael love this book?

This is an important collection of essays. It provides state-of-the-art understanding of Israeli society, its history, politics, and sociology. The book is wide-ranging and comprehensive. Its chapters were written by well-known authorities. The book includes important chapters on the Israeli electoral system, the Israeli Arab citizens, state and religion, gender in Israel, the Jewish ethnic divide and ethnic politics in Israel, the political economy of Israeli neoliberalism, Israel’s national security, the military in Israeli politics, political culture and Israeli politics, Israeli institutions and Israel’s position in the world.

I was invited to contribute to this volume but had to decline due to previous commitments.

By Reuven Y. Hazan (editor), Alan Dowty (editor), Menachem Hofnung (editor) , Gideon Rahat (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This publication offers the most wide-ranging examination to date of an intriguing country, one that is often misunderstood. It serves as a comprehensive reference for the growing field of Israel studies and is also a significant resource for students and scholars of comparative politics, recognizing that in many ways Israel is not unique but rather a test case of democracy in deeply divided societies and states engaged in intense conflict.

The Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society considers the role of external hostilities, but this is not taken as the main determinant of Israel's internal politics. Rather, the Handbook…


Book cover of All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

Sara Saedi Author Of I Miss You, I Hate This

From my list on life inside and outside of Iran.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Iranian-American who left the country with my family after the Islamic Revolution. I'm watching the events unfold in Iran since the murder of Mahsa Amini with equal parts sadness and awe. Sadness for the loss of life and awe for the bravery of the young protestors in the country. My books will always have a nod to my culture of origin—whether about growing up in an immigrant household in my memoir, Americanized, or writing an Iranian-American character like Parisa in I Miss You, I Hate This. It's been fascinating to see people in America pay attention to what's happening in Iran and I wanted to share some books that'll help inform their perspective. 

Sara's book list on life inside and outside of Iran

Sara Saedi Why did Sara love this book?

An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer. Honestly, if I was Ben Affleck I would have made a movie based on this book instead of Argo. Kinzer’s book exposes the United States and the UK’s role in creating the Iran of today by detailing Operation Ajax—or the coup that caused the downfall of elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Spoiler alert: it had a lot to do with oil. What’s devasting is to picture what Iran would look like today without foreign intervention in the 1950s.  

By Stephen Kinzer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All the Shah's Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a thrilling narrative that sheds much light on recent events, this national bestseller brings to life the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that ousted the country’s elected prime minister, ushered in a quarter-century of brutal rule under the Shah, and stimulated the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Selected as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and The Economist, it now features a new preface by the author on the folly of attacking Iran.


Book cover of The Federalist Papers

Michael Barone Author Of Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders

From my list on the struggles of the early America republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

My friend Lou Cannon, the great reporter and Reagan biographer, once told me, “if you want to really learn about a subject, write a book about it.” As a political journalist and author of several books about current and past politics,  wanted to learn more about the Founding Fathers, and as a map buff I tried to understand how they understood a continent most of which was not accurately mapped and how they envisioned the geographic limits and reach of a new republic more extensive in size than most nations in Europe. The book is my attempt to share what I learned with readers, and to invite them to read more about these extraordinary leaders.

Michael's book list on the struggles of the early America republic

Michael Barone Why did Michael love this book?

To understand the political struggles of the 1790s, read the Federalist Papers this way: first read all those attributed to Hamilton, then those attributed to Madison, and finish up with the five attributed to Jay.

You will find Hamilton urging an energetic executive and a prepared military and hinting at the need for a financial system including a unified national debt and a national bank. You will see Madison more concerned with countering the irresponsible actions of state legislatures and cabining in the power of one branch of government by incentivizing other branches to check it.

As for Jay, you may be surprised that this resident of the most ethnically and culturally diverse colony and state, New York, assures readers that Americans all share an identical religion though he himself was the descendant of Calvinist French Huguenots—a persecuted folk in what had been a century of violent religious wars. 

By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison , Richard Beeman (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Federalist Papers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A selection of nineteen essential essays from The Federalist Papers in their original lengths by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, with notes by Richard Beeman

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of…


Book cover of Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings

Dennis E. Shasha Author Of The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco

From my list on to help you to think logically.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became a scientist because I enjoyed the puzzles in Scientific American. I loved the notion that through mere thought, one could solve a question that at first glance seemed impossible to solve. When I had to design methods to detect ephemeral failures in electronic circuits underlying a mainframe computer, I created a puzzle having occasional liars. When I thought about ways to understand global wars, I constructed a puzzle about bullies in a playground. Some of my puzzles have been very computational, some purely paper and pencil. Over the years, my puzzles have appeared in Scientific American, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, and the Communications of the ACM.

Dennis' book list on to help you to think logically

Dennis E. Shasha Why did Dennis love this book?

Abraham Lincoln famously had little formal education but was capable of sophisticated logical thinking in his arguments. He credits his ability to form his arguments to his encounter with Euclid’s writings about geometry. He felt in awe by the notion of “demonstration” and went on to apply that notion to his compelling arguments about the injustice and hypocrisy of slavery. 

By Roy Basler, Carl Sandburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume presents nearly 250 of Lincoln's most important speeches, state papers, and letters in their entirety. Here are not only the masterpieces,the Gettysburg Address, the Inaugural Addresses, the 1858 Republican Convention Speech, the Emancipation Proclamation,but hundreds of lesser-known gems. Alfred Kazin has written that Lincoln was "not just the greatest writer among our Presidents . . . but the most telling and unforgettable of all American'public' writer-speakers," and it's never been cleaner than in this comprehensive edition.


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