Book cover for A Rage for Order

A Rage for Order



20 April 2017
272 pages
Imprint: Picador


This is the book on the Middle East you have been waiting to read. [It] tells the story of the 2011 Arab Spring and its slide into autocracy and civil war better than I could ever imagine its being told. The volume is remarkably slender for one of such drama and scope - beautifully written . . . All great works of fiction are works of great philosophy, pondering the fundamentals of humanity. Few volumes of non-fiction ever achieve this, but Worth's does, touching essential human truths about the human condition . . . The writing is so beautiful and the storytelling so easy that you won't realize how much you are learning as you read. But there is no escaping the import of the stories. No way to read this marvellous book and not understand far more than you did before about this troubled region and the people struggling to find their way back to quiet lives
Riveting, vivid, lucid, and wise, Robert F. Worth's A Rage for Order is reportage of the highest order: it illuminates current Middle Eastern crises through the daily experiences of ordinary, and extraordinary, men and women. I've read no finer or more nuanced account.
The best way to make sense of the past six years is to ask the Arab people what happened . . . Robert Worth has done just that . . . Worth narrows the field of view, using personal narratives to illuminate the larger dynamics. This is a common technique, but Mr Worth does it better than most.
It would be hard to find a more astute and eloquent guide to this explosive corner of the Earth than Robert F. Worth. He somehow managed to be on hand for a score of crucial moments in the Arab world's great convulsions, from the vast demonstrations of Tahrir Square to a just-liberated Libyan prison to the crushing of great hopes in the years that followed. Whatever lies ahead, I suspect that, as with John Reed's reporting on the Russian Revolution, people will be reading this vivid eyewitness account for years to come.