‘Tragedy” generally connotes fateful disaster: predestined failure, star-crossed lovers, young lives cut short, unexpected natural catastrophes. Greek tragedy, in particular, involves themes of destiny and fortune, where no matter how hard the hero strives to overcome his nature, he’s doomed to fall victim to his fate.
But in Noah Feldman’s tragedy The Arab Winter, a concise, convincing recapitulation of the causes and consequences of the Arab Spring, “the protagonists make choices based on their individual characters and by their actions participate in the construction of their fates.” The series of uprisings across the Arab world in the early 2010s resulted in …
This article appears as “The Long Thaw” in the February 22, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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