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Black Wave: The Saudi-...
Kim Ghattas
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Black Wave: The Saudi-Iran Wars on Religion and Culture that Destroyed the Middle East

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The bestselling author of The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power tells the gripping story of the real roots of the Middle East Sunni-Shia conflict in the 1979 Iran Revolution that changed the region forever.

Black Wave is a paradigm-shifting recasting of the modern history of the Middle East, telling the largely unexplored
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
***Top book of 2020 for me.***

The cultural and political changes in the Middle East were brought to life and breathed into each page beginning with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The claim for the book is that the pivotal year of 1979 generated much of the conflict that is seen currently; so, we must understand 1979 at every angle in order to comprehend the Middle East of today. Because 1979 is the foundation for shaping the premise of the book, Part 1 which is 4 chapters (or 23 % on a Kindle)
Sumit RK
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review To Come!
Mikey B.
The author poses the question “What happened to us?” – meaning what happened to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world from Egypt to Pakistan. Many of these areas had wonderful pockets of free thought, with entertainment where women and men were able to mix freely together (obviously this has never been the case for Saudi Arabia). This is no longer the case.

Page 231 (my book) Iraq

The land of biblical Eden and cradle of civilization that had given the world one of its seven wonders, the
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without doubt this is an important, informative, well-researched and essential read, for anyone who is interested in the Middle East. It takes the reader from 1979 to the recent murder of Saudi journalist, Jamam Khashoggi, and endeavours to explain the quest that author, and journalist, Kim Ghattas poses, “What happened to us?” For Kim Ghattas has covered Middle Eastern politics for over twenty years, for the BBC and the Financial Times and was born, and raised, in Lebanon.

It seems that the
(Note: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley)

For a while now I merely “knew” that a Saudi Arabia-Iran rivalry was one of the factors shaping the present-day Middle East. Now that I’ve completed “Black Wave,” I can see just how little I was actually grasping. Thanks to the intense research and work she has poured into her newest work, Kim Ghattas has made it incredibly clear that the Saudi-Iranian struggle isn’t just one factor behind current events - it has been the major molding
Steven Z.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four years ago, I read Kim Ghattas’ account of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure at Foggy Bottom. The book was personal, clear, concise and analytical. Her latest book, BLACK WAVE: SAUDI ARABIA, IRAN, AND THE FORTY-YEAR RIVALRY THAT UNRAVELED CULTURE, RELIGION, AND COLLECTIVE MEMORY piqued my interest in light of recent events. Iran’s attack on Saudi oil fields, the proxy war in Yemen between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s machinations dealing with shipping in the Persian Gulf, and ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introduction to the recent history of the Middle East weaving together the relationships between the various actors (countries and significant figures) and the ideologies as they respectively grew ascendant in each region. It’s eye opening in terms of the Shia-Sunni rivalry and how it wasn’t always this way but rather formed from both internal and outside influences. The pivotal episodes that occurred around ’79 are given particular detail and even if you were alive at this ...more
Scott Whitmore
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“What happened to us?” are the first words in Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East, and author Kim Ghattas does an exceptional job of answering the question. I learned so much from this highly readable book, and gained insight and perspective on the things I already knew.

The author effectively uses the stories of different people around the region to examine the origins and short- and long-term
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was truly a mini-course on the modern history of the Middle East, seen through the IRAN-Saudi rivalry. The book is very well researched and the narrative is elegantly written. I did not feel that every piece of history discussed in the book was directly linked to IRAN-Saudi conflict, however, they all contributed to the understanding of the complexity of the region and the regional context in which major events of the last four decades have shaped. I would definitely nominate this book ...more
Matthew Trevithick
4.5 stars - 4 for a complicated story well told, and one more for the idea of centering around 1979, a subject of strong research interest to me.
Rory Hills
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was outstanding. I have read a good deal about the Middle East but most of it about the last century ending circa 1970. The creation of Israel and the Suez Crisis being key moments but much to do with French, British and American interference and conniving in the need to secure oil to power their economies and fight two world wars. What was striking in all these books was how little is mentioned of Sunni and Shia sectarianism. James Barr - an author of two of the books I have read ...more
Baxter يزبك
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very refreshing! The first non Israel-centric book about the Middle East.
i don’t know how many months and years of research the Author (ex-BBC Reporter) has invested here. But the result is amazing. A must read for anyone who wants to know what happened in 1979 in both Iran and KSA and it unfolded a black wave... this can be understood as women covered in black cloth from top to bottom or, if u are European, black is the color of fascism. I think the book qualifies to be included in curriculums
Blake Loomis
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite being a history teacher, I knew far less about everything going on in the Middle East than I should. Far, far less. This book does an excellent job explaining all the nuances and humanizing the impact of everything going on. The book is simultaneously helped by ignoring the U.S. presence in the Middle East. It is mentioned, for sure, and the impact of the presence is not glossed over, but as a book about the Middle East, the book focuses on just that: the people and cultures of the ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides an illuminating background to the progression of the primary Islamic states from their recent origins to their current political and religious positions.

The author adds context to these counties evolution over the recent decades and how they influence the directions taken by each country as a reaction to the influence, or lack of, their competing states.

The focus is on the Islamic states and not on the impact or influence of the western powers.

As the author concludes, there is
Magnus Halsnes
Boka skisserer opp ei forteljing, eller fleire forteljingar, om «svart bølgjer» som oppstår i ulike delar av Midtausten. Desse bølgjene er brukt som eit bilete på det aukande fokuset på religion i regionen frå 1970-talet og fram til i dag. Rivaliseringa mellom Saudi-Arabia og Iran står sentralt, som undertittelen avslører, og Ghattas set difor av ein del tid på revolusjonen i Iran og konsekvensane av okkupasjonen av moskeen i Mekka i 1979. Ho vier òg ein del tid til Zia-ul-Haq sitt styre i ...more
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Kim Ghattas covers international affairs for the BBC as well as Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. She was the BBC's State Department correspondent from 2008 to 2013 and traveled regularly with the secretary of state. She was previously a Middle East correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, based in Beirut. Ghattas was part of an Emmy Award-winning BBC team covering the ...more