West has spent many years in the Middle East as a journalist. As he delves into the leaderless phenomenon known as the Arab Spring he talks to people from all walks of life in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. These people are on buses and back streets, communal taxis, in small towns, in cafés, offices and barber shops. A fascinating portrait of some remarkable characters.
Johnny West has lived in this area for the past decade and speaks fluent Arabic, and so has the skills and ability to talk to everyone from security guards to revolutionaries, from families of protestors, some of whom have been killed, to oil workers, to cafe owners, lawyers, barbers and clerics. Travelling on public buses, visiting with families, hanging out in shops and cafes, he brings out for all of us what made ordinary people erupt, what happened to them during those days and now, what their hopes, fears and dreams are, how they see us in the West, how each country is different but how they see themselves as part of a joint Arab culture, before Islamists. Johnny West's long experience in the area enables him to set all this in context, while never losing the vividness of a travel book or the characters of a novel. This is not a political treatise but a journey of discovery - of people, of places, of life under extraordinary circumstances - which this book allows us to share and makes one feels as if one had been there.