1848, 1968, 1989—or none of the above? While historical analogies can be helpful, they are often misleading. Photo: Jonathan Rashad

As freedom blooms in the Arab world, newspaper comment pages are experiencing a springtime of vague historical analogies. In an attempt to grasp the significance of events in Benghazi, Bahrain and Sidi Bouzid, columnists are falling over themselves in evoking Europe’s inheritance of resistance and revolt. Which enlightened model will the young Arabs choose in their quest for democracy and justice: 1848, 1968 or 1989? But…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect