Wehrey provides one of the best accounts of contemporary Libya available, based on his deep knowledge of the Arab political scene and meetings with most of the key Libyan players ... 'Benghazi!' remains a powerful one-word rallying cry for the American Right. Wehrey gives a definitive account of the attack, and, even more important, goes beyond political point-scoring to provide a big-picture view of how it came about and what happened in its aftermath ... He offers an evocative view of life in different parts of Libya during the social shifts that have buffeted the country in recent years. Readers get a keen sense of the competing political and militia leaders guiding Libya’s chaotic transformation, with few illusions about their motivations and a clear-eyed sense of what, rhetoric aside, is really informing their complex maneuvering.
In The Burning Shores, the American scholar Frederic Wehrey traces Libya’s troubles from the beginning of the revolution to its current upheavals, marking the critical moments along the way. The result is uneven and sometimes a little hard to follow; even so, Wehrey’s version should be read and appreciated as the essential text on the country’s disintegration ... Wehrey crisscrossed the country, flew back and forth along the coast, and sat with warlords and Islamists of uncertain intentions ... the only characters who make a lasting impression in the book are a liberal-minded human rights lawyer named Salwa Bugaighis, who had high hopes for the country but was killed by Islamist militiamen shortly after the revolution, and Chris Stevens, the American ambassador who died in an attack on the embassy in Benghazi in 2012. The last days of Stevens, a humane and fearless diplomat, are vividly recounted ... For as far as we can see into the future, Libya’s chaos will be landing right on the West’s doorstep.
His book is solidly objective and nonpartisan ... a must-read ... Wehrey takes you from the death of both Colonel Muammar Qadhafi and US Ambassador Christopher Stevens to the present day. Wehrey doesn't dumb things down. Instead, he dives into the bewildering details in a bold effort to understand a seemingly incomprehensible conflict ... If you're looking for a book that is laser-focused on what has happened in the last seven years in Libya, no other book does a better job of answering that question than The Burning Shores. At times, the detail can be overwhelming. Wehrey leaves no stone unturned.
A searing tale of violence, chaos, and unintended consequences in post-Gadhafi Libya ... this careful account of the Benghazi attack itself, the central episode in this capable book, is as good as there is, untangling a complex storyline while taking care not to descend into finger-pointing. Essential reading for anyone interested in the facts of the Benghazi attacks and in the future of a definitively troubled region.
Wehrey...guides readers through the militias, fragile tribal allegiances, and armed neighborhood gangs that make up Libya’s polity ... Impartial and engrossing, this is one of the few accessible introductions to the contours of a conflict that the West has chosen almost entirely to ignore.