These are two very different books despite the fact that they have the same title and similar points of departure. Both argue that the Second Arab Awakening erupted because the First Awakening had failed to deliver on the freedom it had promised and “foreign despots were replaced by homegrown ones” (Muasher, p. 7). Not only do the two authors differ on their respective definitions of the First Arab Awakening, but their books also deal with different matters. Adeed Dawisha is engaged in an analysis of the Arab Spring and its outcome, while Marwan Muasher is dedicated in the main to a prescription of what ought to happen in the Arab world in the wake of the revolutionary events of recent years.

For Adeed Dawisha, the first Arab Awakening was not the one that most historians, and Marwan Muasher, tend to refer to. For most historians, the first Arab Awakening was...

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