Skillfully written and scrupulously researched, Black Wave is an essential book in understanding the origins of the modern conflicts in the Middle East
The framing of Black Wave is as important as the content. Kim Ghattas portrays the last four decades across the Middle East as a kind of Islamic Dark Ages, a world dimmed behind a curtain of violence, misogyny, and religious extremism. In exploring how this blackness came to be, she both reminds us of a brighter past and holds out the possibility of a future of light. It's a powerful and important book
A brilliant book, written with verve and style. It is not just essential reading, but thoroughly riveting as well. I could not put it down
In this ambitious and highly readable book, Kim Ghattas tells the story of how Middle Eastern political and religious leaders betrayed their people. Her bold thesis that the events of 1979 scattered the seeds of destruction is revelatory and original. It is easy to despair but she finds hope too - only by understanding what happened can the next generation find a way forward
Brilliant ... Reveals in masterful detail the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and its pernicious effect on the wider region, from 1979 to the present day - a sharp and sobering analysis
Vivid reporting, deep analysis. This is a fascinating and important book. Kim Ghattas tracks the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as it pulled the Middle East and the wider Muslim world out of shape. Black Wave is essential reading if you want to understand why the region slid into religious extremism and blood-soaked sectarianism
A brilliant piece of work. Ghattas reveals how the competition between Tehran and Riyadh led to the instrumentalization of Islam to destroy cosmopolitanism, force women to veil, and to mobilize sectarian extremists
Brutally honest, perfectly researched and brilliantly written ... A must-read for outsiders and people in the region
Fascinating ... Highly readable ... The publication of this book, Black Wave, could not be better timed
Wonderfully readable ... A vivid, indispensable guide
[A] blistering account ... Ghattas knows how to tell a cracking story ... Black Wave is a cri de coeur, an action-packed modern history written with the pace of a detective thriller
A timely and welcome guide ... Well-researched and elegantly written, Black Wave focuses on the lives of a number of key individuals - from guerrilla fighters, revolutionary clerics and spy chiefs to Sufi leaders and journalists.
Sweeping and authoritative ... Ghatta's narrative upends ... Western misconception
The book is packed with accounts of ambition, treachery and cruelty - with a wealth of historical detail down to the hour of the day... She serves up a wealth of human interest wrapped in ambience and atmosphere. She paints riveting portraits of the protagonists.
A compelling account of the entrenched rancour between two important countries in the Middle East. Emmy-winning journalist Ghattas details a depressing "race to the bottom" since 1979, but she also celebrates those courageously fighting for freedom in such a toxic environment.
Profoundly moving ... There is a simmering anger not far below the surface of her book. It is a gripping tale. It is a tract for our times. Read and weep. But also, like Ghattas, allow yourself to hope.
London School of Economics, Middle East Project
London School of Economics
5th Mar 2020 6:00 pm
Kim Ghattas in conversation with Madawi Al-Rasheed