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

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9780143118831: Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East

An unprecedented history of American involvement in the Middle East.

In this definitive and revelatory work, noted historian 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. With verve and authority, he offers piercing analysis of the region's iconic events over the past one hundred years-from the birth of Israel to the rise of Al Qaeda. Throughout, he draws telling parallels between America's past mistakes and its current dilemmas, proving that we're in today's muddle not just because of our old errors but because we keep repeating those errors.

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About the Author:

Geoffrey Wawro is the General Olinto Mark Barsanti Professor of Military History and director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas. Wawro has hosted many programs on the History Channel and taught for several years at the U.S. Naval War College. He received his BA from Brown and his PhD from Yale, and he lives in Dallas, Texas.

Review:

"A keen-eyed, sweeping survey of . . . U.S. policy in the Middle East since the Balfour Declaration in 1917. . . . An excellent argument for the necessity of careful sifting of historical precedent and error."
-Kirkus Reviews

"A coherent and highly readable analysis of America's involvement in the Middle East... Whereas many books have been written about one Middle East nation or one aspect of this topic, Wawro successfully provides the big picture."
-Library Journal

"An ambitious project, but Wawro's considerable talent for seamlessly blending military, social, and political history (as well as his extensive archival elbow grease) makes it a success."
-Booklist

"A bold and comprehensive account of America's involvement in the Middle East. Quicksand cannot answer the haunting question posed by General David Petraeus during the 2003 invasion of Iraq-'Tell me how this ends?'-but Geoffrey Wawro's history does reveal how an extraordinary tale of idealism, politics, force, and miscalculation began and unfolded over the past century."
-Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn

"Wawro does a terrific job of explaining why America's Middle East policy has been so wrongheaded for so long, and how it has gotten the United States into so much trouble in recent years. Quicksand should be required reading for everyone in Washington whohas a hand in formulating policy toward the Arab and Islamic world."
-John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

"Foreign policy is a chief responsibility of any American president, yet readers of Geoff Wawro's Quicksand will be shocked by the history he describes- presidents, members of Congress, and lobbyists who consistently sacrificed statesmanship to expediency, leaving the U.S. stuck in the Middle Eastern quicksand Wawro so richly describes."
-Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

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