There is an undeniable movement across the Islamic world. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, and so on, have seen protests, revolutions, and governmental change. The revolts are spontaneous, from the ground up, and massive. Yet have they really done anything? As much as I would like to comment on their successes and failures, it really is too soon to say much about their various outcomes. Tunisia does seem to be headed in a relatively positive direction, though it is balanced on the edge of a knife. Egypt may well be worse off than before the protests – unless the new military dictatorship gives up its power in September (I believe my “pessimism” is in this case something more like “realism”). Anyone who asserts far reaching predictions about the future of the region is headed into dangerous territory. I certainly am not qualified to predict the future of the Middle East. However, I can shed some light on the recent wave of revolution which has shook the Islamic world in the past year. The light shines from the past, from Europe in 1848 to be specific, and the parallels between the revolutions of that year and those of 2011 are striking.