Since Qaddafi’s ousting in 2011, Libya has been beset by instability and conflict. To understand the tumultuous state of the country today, one must look to its past. With great clarity and precision, renowned regional expert Ronald Bruce St John examines Libya’s long struggle to establish its political and economic identity amidst the interference of external actors keen to exploit the country’s strategic importance.
This authoritative history spans the time of the early Phoenician and Greek settlements, colonization by Mussolini’s Italy, Qaddafi’s four decades of rule and, in this updated edition, the internal rivalries that have dominated the country in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Essential reading for those seeking a greater understanding of this complex North African state, Libya: From Colony to Revolution is an insightful history, rich in detail and analysis.
‘An excellent political history of Libya…engaging.’
– Irish Times
‘Of all the books on Libya, Bruce St John’s is easily the most comprehensive and approachable.’
– Washington Post
‘A timely and necessary book…fluid in its writing and measured in its judgements.’
– New Internationalist
‘Excellent… accessible, informative and presented with clarity… You won't find a much better overview of Libya than this.’
‘An excellent general overview, accessible, informative and presented with clarity… Until the secret archives in Tripoli have been raked over, you won’t find a much better overview of Libya than this.’
– Libya Herald
‘An excellent and concise history of this complex country.’
– George Joffé, Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University
‘Ronald Bruce St John is a committed scholar of Libya…his book offers the measured and confident tone of someone deeply familiar with the subject matter.’
– Richard Phelps, Quilliam Foundation, Journal of North African Studies
‘An excellent account of Libya’s often contentious history: clear, concise, accurate and balanced. It will be the best general work on the country available for the foreseeable future, very useful to anyone interested in the country.’
– Lisa Anderson, James T. Shotwell Professor Emerita of International Relations, Columbia University
‘For the general reader as well as for those with a good level of knowledge of Libya, there is perhaps no one better situated to...explain the country’s current and future dilemmas than Ronald Bruce St John…[an] admirable history.’
– Diederik Vandewalle, International Affairs
‘Rich in historical detail...containing rare insights into Libyan leader Qaddafi’s thinking, particularly on foreign affairs. Indispensable for every serious student of Libya or North Africa.’
– Michele Dunne, Director and Senior Fellow, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
‘An outstanding book...the best short history of Libya. St John has made us accustomed to first-rate analyses of Libya; this book is no exception and no students of Libya, from undergraduates to experts, could afford not to have it on their shelves.’
– Yahia H. Zoubir, Professor of International Relations and International Management, and Director of Research in Geopolitics, Euromed Management, Marseille School of Management
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