Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi

Ulf Laessing

Laessing’s fast-paced, on-the-ground narrative reveals what really happened in the run up to and aftermath of Gaddafi’s ouster.

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Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi Paperback
May 2020£17.99
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Why has Libya fallen apart since 2011? The world has largely given up trying to understand how the revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi has left the country a failed state and a major security headache for Europe. Gaddafi’s police state has been replaced by yet another dictatorship, amidst a complex conflict of myriad armed groups, Islamists, tribes, towns and secularists. What happened?

One of few foreign journalists to have lived in post-revolution Tripoli, Ulf Laessing has unique insight into the violent nature of post-Gaddafi politics. Confronting threats from media-hostile militias and jihadi kidnappings, in a world where diplomats retreat to their compounds and guns are drawn at government press conferences, Laessing has kept his ear to the ground and won the trust of many key players.

Understanding Libya Since Gaddafi is an original blend of personal anecdote and nuanced Libyan history. It offers a much-needed diagnosis of why war has erupted over a desert nation of just 6 million, and of how the country blessed with Africa’s greatest energy reserves has been reduced to state collapse.


Ulf Laessing is Reuters bureau chief for Egypt, Sudan and Libya; he was formerly the Reuters correspondent in Libya and has covered the country since 2011.