"Mr. Worth’s book [A Rage for Order] is about the core of that tragic springtime story born five years ago: the “Arab republican states,” the five nations that in 2011 rose up against their longstanding regimes of secular nationalist strongmen.
Of these, Egypt ended up where it started, with its former head of military intelligence in charge of a moderately unhappy country that seems relieved to have escaped from brief, democratically legitimate rule by the Muslim Brotherhood. Syria remains in the middle of civil war. Libya is outright chaos. Yemen is in the grip of a full-blown Saudi-Iranian proxy war, with its government exiled, its capital in the hands of Shia rebels and much of the coast an emirate of the world’s strongest al Qaeda franchise.