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Scott Anderson On How History Has Fractured The Arab World


This encore Reader's Corner interview was originally broadcast in September, 2017.

Scott Anderson holds the unique distinction of having a full issue of The New York Times Magazine devoted to his story. That speaks both to the quality of his work, as well as to its immense relevance.

Mr. Anderson’s story, titled Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart, is now out as a paperback book, and it provides valuable insights into what has happened in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq, including the subsequent series of anti-government uprisings known as the Arab Spring. While we first cheered these citizen protests, the world is now dealing with the aftermath — a brutal civil war in Syria, Islamic extremists, and a global refugee crisis. Mr. Anderson takes us back to post-World War I to show how history helped shaped the events of the past several years, and introduces us to people whose lives have been forever altered because of them.

Scott Anderson has reported from Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Sudan, Bosnia, El Salvador and many other strife-torn countries. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine, his work also has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's and Outside. He is the author of the novels Moonlight Hotel and Triage, and several non-fiction books, including the bestseller Lawrence in Arabia, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2014.