Libmonster ID: UK-1227
Author(s) of the publication: N. I. PETROV

Professor A. Z. Yegorin, a prominent Russian orientalist, began his book "Muammar Gaddafi" (Moscow, IV RAS, 2009, 464 p.) with a survey conducted by his colleague, pravdist journalist Igor Belyaev. He tried to find out what our compatriots know about the leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi.

It turned out to be almost nothing. And the opinions expressed were banal and superficial.

More than two decades have passed since this survey was conducted, but if the situation has changed, it is for the worse. It seems that we know even less about Gaddafi now. Moreover, Western assessments of this outstanding political figure predominate - "Orthodox", "radical"," dictator", patron and supporter of terrorists. Although the personality of this person is much more interesting and multifaceted than these annoying cliches. And in many respects, Gaddafi's fair reproaches for "leftist skulls" should not be obscured from political scientists and historical experts.-

page 76

At the very least, I appreciate the desperate bravery of this man who set up a socio-economic experiment on the scale of an entire country - Libya-40 years ago.

Professor Yegorin's book is the first fundamental work on Muammar Gaddafi in Russia. By the way, half a dozen other works, also serious and thorough, are written by the same author. He was a witness and sometimes a direct participant in many of the events described, since for six years-from 1974 to 1980-he worked as an adviser to the Soviet Embassy in Libya, and then - until now - as a researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, he repeatedly visited this country.

So who is he - the revolutionary autocrat and son of the desert Muammar Gaddafi? The author of the work has tried to give an objective answer to this question, although he does not hide his positive attitude, and sometimes outright admiration for the "hero of his novel". This admiration is based mainly on the assessment of Gaddafi as a person who is bright and outstanding in many ways, which even the most "tough" of his enemies and opponents recognize.

This originality is even evident in the fact that he likes bright, outlandish-looking outfits, and he likes to travel on a grand scale. On foreign trips, he sometimes takes camels to drink their milk, is accompanied by a squad of female bodyguards, and lives in Bedouin tents - such a tent in 2008, at the end of an official visit to Russia, he presented to Vladimir Putin. Being in principle a supporter of a secular society, Gaddafi is a devout Muslim, an expert on the Koran. In addition, he is a talented writer, the author of original stories, some of which were published in the magazine "Asia and Africa Today". Having a huge working capacity, the Libyan leader devotes a lot of time to self-education: he has studied and is studying the history, literature, and philosophy of many countries of the world.

The book describes in detail the revolution of September 1, 1969, as a result of which the monarchical regime was overthrown in Libya and young officers came to power - they were headed by Muammar Gaddafi. He also composed and read out the historic "Communique No. 1" on the radio, in which he assured that he would be guided by the principles of freedom, unity and social justice and guaranteed equal rights for all citizens. The new Libyan regime was quickly recognized by leading European and Arab States.

After coming to power, the Libyan leader almost immediately thought about creating his own political model of the country, different from the capitalist and communist ones. He studied many works devoted to Western and Eastern models of government. He was most impressed by the works of Russian radical revolutionaries. On March 2, 1977, the Extraordinary Session of the General People's Congress decided on a new official name for the State-the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The last word in Arabic means "power of the people".

A significant part of the book is devoted to the analysis of how Gaddafi's views on democracy were implemented in practice. The author drew on a wide range of materials to cover this topic - from statistical data and calculations to numerous publications in the Western and Arabic press. It is clear from the work that the" Libyan path of development " was not straight and cloudless. In particular, attempts to "break away from capitalism" did not justify themselves. In Libya, for example, private enterprise was recklessly destroyed.

Libya "under Gaddafi" has repeatedly found itself in a situation of tough confrontation with the Western world. In 1992, as a result of the adoption of UN resolution No. 731 against a country accused of pandering to terrorists, economic sanctions were imposed. By the way, they also seriously complicated Russian-Libyan relations, since our delegation did not even abstain from voting on the resolution. The few shortcomings of the book "Muammar Gaddafi" include the fact that the seven - year period of the country's life under sanctions and the role of the country's leader in resolving the conflict is given very little space-only a few pages.

All 40 years of the "Libyan experiment" were a period of serious evolution in Gaddafi's views and approaches to governing the country. Having soberly assessed the situation in the world, he went for rapprochement with the West. In the late 1990s, relations between Libya and our country began to improve again, and Russian business, primarily oil and gas, gradually penetrated the Libyan markets. Numerous examples are given in this paper.

Today, the world continues to closely monitor developments in Libya and the actions of its leader Muammar Gaddafi. Professor A. Z. Yegorin, summing up the results, not without regret writes that not all the goals set in 1969 by the new leadership were implemented. Yes, the dominance of feudal lords and foreign capital was eliminated, and a model of society based on state capitalism, bureaucracy, officers, and the nobility of loyal tribes was created. But the" independence and self-activity "of the masses remained illusory hopes, as did the" new attitude to work." And cooperation with the West, which is interested in Libya's colossal oil wealth, has been restored.

A. Z. Yegorin's book, therefore, not only tells about one of the most prominent leaders of the modern Arab world, but also through his biography reveals the springs of development of relations between this world and the West, and by and large - with the entire world community, which gives it special value and relevance.


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N. I. PETROV, MUAMMAR GADDAFI AND THE REST OF THE WORLD // London: British Digital Library (ELIBRARY.ORG.UK). Updated: 14.08.2023. URL: (date of access: 22.05.2024).

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