The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East

(The following description includes remarks adapted from an announcement by Encounter Books.)

IWP Adjunct Professor Joshua Muravchik has written a highly stimulating and original text profiling seven Middle Eastern leaders whose efforts to build democracy promise a more equitable future in their society. 

From Pakistan to Palestine, the Middle East is beset by political and social turmoil that threatens to slide the entire region into the clutches of autocratic fanatics. And while American campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed the staggering costs of remodeling societies from afar, the difficulty of these campaigns does not mean we must abandon the Middle East to a totalitarian fate.

In The Next Founders, Muravchik suggests that our best hope for democratic reform in the Middle East may be to promote change from within.  Cultivated from years of travel and interviews, The Next Founders brings to light the stories of seven indigenous activists whose beliefs are exactly congruent with America's founding fathers.  This compendium of portraits includes activists, journalists, and politicians.  They are Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Egyptian, Palestinian, Saudi and Kuwaiti, Sunnis and Shiites (one is mixed).  Two are leading feminists: a Kuwaiti who led the successful fight for women to participate in politics and a Saudi who is spearheading the campaign for the right of women to drive.  One is a newspaper publisher who transformed Egyptian journalism. They have been imprisoned, menaced and exiled. They have dodged the bullets of assassins and have even witnessed the murder of their own children - all for the cause of freedom and democracy.

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