A World of Trouble

A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East – from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Patrick Tyler

DS 63.2 .U5 T95 2010

“In this gripping story of American misadventures in the Middle East, Patrick Tyler shows how U.S. presidents – even the best-intentioned – have repeatedly taken unsound, dangerously naive actions in the region.  Again and again, seemingly principled White House diplomatic efforts there have fallen to the pressures of domestic politics; foundered because of poor execution; or, worse, been undermined by duplicity, deceit, and outright foolishness.

Tyler dramatizes the troubled U.S. approach to the Middle East – from the Suez crisis to the Iran hostage debacle to the two wars against Iraq – in this sweeping, comprehensive narrative, revealing the big picture as never before.  He tells a story of presidents being drawn into Middle East affairs against their will, being kept in the dark by local potentates, being led astray by grasping subordinates, and making decisions about the internal affairs of countries they hardly understand.  Most tellingly, he shows how each president has managed to undo the policies of his predecessor, often fomenting both anger against America in the streets of the region and confusion at home.  And in a new afterword, he considers the consequences of George W. Bush’s presidency in the region and the challenges faced by President Barack Obama.

A World of Trouble is the Middle East book we need now: compulsively readable, free of cant and ideology, and rich in insight about the complex passions Americans have about our country’s approach to the region.” – publisher description

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