Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East

Quicksand America s Pursuit of Power in the Middle East Geoffrey Wawro approaches America s role in the Middle East in a fundamentally new way by encompassing the last century of the entire region rather than focusing narrowly on a particular country or e

  • Title: Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East
  • Author: Geoffrey Wawro
  • ISBN: 9781594202414
  • Page: 312
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Geoffrey Wawro approaches America s role in the Middle East in a fundamentally new way by encompassing the last century of the entire region, rather than focusing narrowly on a particular country or era The result is a definitive and revelatory history whose drama, tragedy, and rich irony he relates with unprecedented verve Wawro combed archives in the United States andGeoffrey Wawro approaches America s role in the Middle East in a fundamentally new way by encompassing the last century of the entire region, rather than focusing narrowly on a particular country or era The result is a definitive and revelatory history whose drama, tragedy, and rich irony he relates with unprecedented verve Wawro combed archives in the United States and Europe and traveled the Middle East to unearth new insights into the hidden motivations, backroom dealing, and outright espionage that shaped some of the most tumultuous events of the last one hundred years Wawro offers piercing analysis of iconic events from the birth of Israel to the death of Sadat, from the Suez crisis to the energy crisis, from the Six Day War to Desert One, from Iran contra to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rise of al Qaeda Throughout, he draws telling parallels between America s past mistakes and its current quandaries, proving that we re in today s muddle not just because of our old errors, but because we keep repeating those errors.America has juggled multiple commitments and conflicting priorities in the Middle East for nearly a century Strands of idealism and ruthless practicality have alternated and sometimes run together in our policy Quicksand untangles these strands as no history has done before by showing how our strategies unfolded over the entire century and across the entire region We ve persistently misread the intentions and motivations of every major player in the region because we ve insisted on viewing them through the lens of our own culture, hopes, and fears Most administrations since Eisenhower s have adopted their own doctrine for the Middle East, and almost every doctrine has failed precisely because it s a doctrine a template into which events on the ground refuse to fit Geoffrey Wawro s peerless and remarkably lively history is key to understanding our errors and the Middle East at last on its own terms.

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    About “Geoffrey Wawro

    • Geoffrey Wawro

      Geoffrey Wawro is the General Olinto Mark Barsanti Professor of Military History at the University of North Texas, and Director of the UNT Military History Center His primary area of emphasis is modern and contemporary military history, from the French Revolution to the present His fourth book will appear in February 2010 from Penguin Press it is titled Quicksand America s Pursuit of Power in the Middle East.

    265 thoughts on “Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East

    • This is a history of our foreign policy in the Middle East during the last 100 years. While those relations aren't always smooth, Wawro's history does demonstrate that largely our goals and actions have reflected the pressures of the times. Following World War II, 2 common threads knitted their way through the fabric of the region: the need to forge alliances to counter Soviet ambitions toward warm water ports and the persistent coercion of Israeli security concerns. And oil. I'd heard before, a [...]


    • Quicksand is a work that has been needed for some time: an all-encompassing look at the history of America's involvement in the Middle East. When it comes to politics, relations with the Middle East are often a prime topic of discussion, and many, including myself, are grossly undereducated on the past events and relationships between the various polities in the region and the United States. Geoffrey Wawro seeks to remedy this by tracking the region's relationship with the west, from slightly be [...]


    • Quicksand, by Geoffrey Wawro, gave me a much needed historical and political background on the events and forces that have resulted in an alienated Iran, a disrupted Iraq, a domineering Israel, a frustrated Egypt, a simmering Saudi Arabia, and a wounded America. Wawro traces the rise of Zionism and Israel out of the ashes of Nazi genocide, unwanted Eastern Jewish refugees, and a powerful Zionist lobby able to dictate American policy towards Israel over the heads of presidents who dared to challe [...]


    • Quicksand is highly uneven book. Its first half has plenty of original analysis based on painstaking archival research; but the quality declines from the chapter on the June war onwards. The book is finally redeemed only by a couple of good chapters on the Iraq war. So why the four stars? Because, despite its flaws, this is a remarkable book, which is engagingly written, peppered with interesting anecdotal detail, and spiced up with some wray humour. Wawro confirms that US middle east policy has [...]



    • One of the BEST books covering the subject of Middle East interventions by foreign powers. Sadly none learned from each other. And it only gets worse.


    • This review is from: Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East (Hardcover) Incredibly poor research. On the little things"Ben-Gurion came from Russia". Wrong, he came from Poland. And on the big things."the Jews turned down the Peel Commission proposal for partition of Palestine in 1937". While this is true, Wawro states it's because the Jews would not compromise. What he leaves out is that the Peel commission only allowed the Jews the area immediately around Haifa and nothing mor [...]


    • Balfour declaration - Chaim Weizmann, increased migration to Palestine by Jews, who considered themselves the vanguard of a 15 million Jewish population. America did not support Jewish migration at the time as the influential Jews in the country, including persons such as Solomon Loeb, believed that such a migration would imply that all Jews should move to Palestine - they themselves will no longer be welcome in the countries that they have built their empires. Because of this America's policy a [...]


    • Everybody should be made to read this book! Wawro offers insight into the Middle East from the early 1900's till today. He meticulously cites every piece of evidence he presents - the last 100pgs of the book is all notes and citations. However, this book is extremely long, 612 pgs, and is quite indepth. Wawro seemed to leave no detail out, even when it was needed. The book can be confusing if you don't keep all the names straight or don't understand military terminology. But, all together this i [...]


    • Aptly named and somewhat depressing in the cynical, self serving and short sighted pursuit and abuse of power by just about everyone involved. None of the parties in the Middle East come off looking good for the past 100 years and I do mean none. The Israelis have committed just as many acts of overt terrorism and the Arabs and the Americans have been just as willing as the Russians or the British to stage anti-democratic coups when it suited them while the real king is named Oil. And we are all [...]


    • This book is a stellar read. I think its strength is that its analysis is right down the middle. The book is able to give enough historical background while bringing analysis to current conditions. The author does have some criticisms of Israel, and American policy, but not in a manner that I would find problematic as I suspect some other reviewers here do.


    • Meh. Much of the historical events were interesting but I got the feel it was more of a "stupid US" book than a real look at the events.




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