'[Scott Anderson's] understanding of the politics of the [Middle East] is masterly' Max Hastings, Sunday Times
In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the 'Islamic State', and a global refugee crisis. But, as Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before.
In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region's profound unravelling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. From this investigation emerges a rare insight into a land in upheaval through the eyes of six individuals - the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family; a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties; a Kurdish physician from a prominent warrior clan; a Syrian university student caught in a civil war; an Iraqi activist for women's rights; and an Iraqi day labourer-turned-ISIS fighter. A probing and insightful work of reportage, Fractured Lands offers a penetrating portrait of the contemporary Arab world and brings the realities of an unprecedented geopolitical tragedy into focus.