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Review: The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath

A new book helps explain why the revolution to topple Muammar Qadhafi turned sour so quickly

Libya's uprising in 2011 seemed straightforward. "Qadhafi treated the country like a farm," one Tripolitanian told your correspondent, to explain the angry energy around him, "and the people were its animals." The revolution and civil war to topple the dictator was a heady period, full of optimism that a new state, helped into being by Western intervention, would deliver freedom to a long-suffering people.  Now many Libyans ask if the bloodshed was worth it. Two governments claim to rule Libya. United Nations mediation to end a civil conflict between sides that roughly represent them has so far been fruitless. Islamic extremists operate with impunity in Sirte, Derna, Sabratha and parts of B

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