This breezy but well-researched history takes a not-so-critical look at a man described by Nelson Mandela as “one of the greatest revolutionary legends of our times” and by President Ronald Reagan as “the mad dog of the Middle East.”
The leader of Libya since 1969, Gaddafi’s life story is revealed through the interviews and research of Jouve, an expert in Third-World Africa who first met Gaddafi in 1979. Told from Gaddafi’s point of view, this book portrays him as a leader of conviction and consideration, committed to peaceably bettering the lives of his countrymen, historically threatened by the influence of the Zionists and the Western traditions they bring to the Middle East with them. Jouve details this anti-Zionism largely without critical comment-which may bristle Western audiences-except for that provided by Gaddafi himself, who in 2004 gave up his nuclear weapons in order to reconcile with the West, a move Jouve says is “the result of deep thought and soul-searching.”
Whether or not you believe in his transformation (and to be sure, Jouve doesn’t provide any reasons why you shouldn’t), Gaddafi’s perspective is well represented here and should satisfy anyone interested in man, the march of Islamic democracy, or the perspective of an “enlightened Muslim” on Israel, the west, democracy and terrorism.