x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

The Arab Spring: A dated experience

The Arab Spring, edited by Toby Mahire, is a series of reports, essays and live blogs, each one filed as revolution jumped from one nation to another.

The Arab Spring
Toby Mahire
Guardian Books
Dh48
The Arab Spring Toby Mahire Guardian Books Dh48

With the publication of this Toby Manhire-edited volume, it might be time to consider if the "Spring Lit" segment has reached its saturation point.

The Guardian's extensive coverage of the uprisings was as admirable as it was exhaustive, but this still begs the question whether collecting and republishing a series of reports, essays and live blogs, each one filed as revolution jumped from one nation to another, remains relevant or timely.

That the bulk of the book is comprised solely of a chronological reproduction of the paper's online blog does not bode well for those hoping to gather a fresh perspective. Setting aside the convenience of this printed anthology, the exact same content (with bonus multimedia clips) can be accessed on the newspaper's website within a few seconds.

This volume's compact latter half is dedicated to a selection of articles written by Guardian correspondents, ranging from first-hand accounts of protests to analyses of the emerging role of democracy. Though insightful, these are hardly enough to salvage an otherwise dated experience.