David Pryce-Jones

Blame Game

The Arabs: A History

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 553pp £25 order from our bookshop

All is not well with the Arabs. They have not found a place in the world that does them justice. The entire social and political order perpetuates an absolutism that is apparently immune to reform. In one Arab country after another, in one century after another right up to the present day, some strong man has seized power, killed whomever he feels he has to, and then defended himself against the next ambitious careerist trying in turn to wrest power for himself. 

The violence is as repetitive as it is destructive. In recent times, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan and Somalia have experienced mass murder. Currently Yemen seems destined to undergo yet another of the bloodstained tests of strength inherent in an absolute system. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,