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The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Aaron Miller has written the most definitive and insightful work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the attempts to mediate it. He possesses a depth of experience and understanding of this complex situation that is unmatched by anybody else who has participated in this process. His passion, intellect, knowledge, and common sense were invaluable in our tenure as mediators. The Much Too Promised Land is a must read for those who desire a true understanding of the most critical peace issue of our time."—General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Retired)
“This book is absolutely necessary reading for anyone who cares about a Middle East peace. Aaron David Miller recounts the history of negotiations based on his deep personal involvement. Not only is it a fascinating tale, it helps us better understand the solution that someday will be possible.”–Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
“Aaron David Miller presents a candid insight into the Middle East peace process. His storytelling gifts make the pages difficult to resist as he moves from anecdote to analysis, and offers an intimate portrayal of the minds and personalities of the major players. This is an unpredictable and challenging book.” —George J. Mitchell
“Aaron David Miller shines a floodlight on the workings of America's Middle East policy. He has written the rarest kind of diplomatic history—both knowing and accessible. This is a book peopled by large, historic figures—Arabs, Israelis, and Americans, and Aaron Miller renders them with artistry. He was there as this diplomatic history was made, and he distills it for his readers with honesty and wisdom and no small measure of irreverence. A superb and exquisitely rendered book.”—Fouad Ajami, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
"In this absorbing volume, as one who participated in numerous high level negotiations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Aaron Miller offers both information and insight to interested and concerned readers."—Elie Wiesel
“Illuminating... the value of the book is its rich and colorful history of past negotiations, and Miller's sharp-edged analysis of what went wrong and right. Memo to the secretary of state: The next time you head off to Jerusalem, throw out some of those briefing papers to make room for this book in your briefcase.”—Washington Post
“Extraordinary…. Miller evinces genuine compassion for both sides in the conflict … while maintaining a detachment that allows him to draw hard conclusions…. Miller’s writing is both approachable and deeply smart.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Combines memoir with what might be called a primer on diplomacy…. Recommended reading for the next administration, if not this one.”–Kirkus Reviews
“A book of great significance, owing to its breadth, objectivity, and judgment.”—Library Journal, starred review
"Insightful.... [Including] a nuanced meditation on the interface between U.S. domestic politics and the situation in the middle East…. A spirited and intimate account."—Foreign Affairs
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a veritable fountain of insight into American Middle East diplomacy. Miller never loses sight of both the political complications of attempts to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors, nor of the human elements that are such a vital part of diplomacy.
Unusual for a book of its kind, The Much Too Promised Land is exceptionally well-written and fully engages the reader throughout. It's that rarest of creations, a book of politics and history that's also a real page-turner.
Miller gives us priceless material on a quarter-century of American engagement in the Middle East; is unsparing in his criticism, including of himself; but is also quite clear in his praise. One gets a really good picture of what worked and what didn't and why. We also get a picture of the circumstances, which is crucial to understanding why a given course of action might work in 1978 but not in 2007, or might fail at one time but succeed at another.
Perhaps the most important point Miller brings out in his book, though this is not his focus, is the role of the "Israel Lobby" in American policy-making. Miller makes clear what I, among others, have been saying for years-that the "Lobby" is certainly powerful and effective and has an impact, but decisions are not based on what it wants. Miller illustrates well the importance of citizens organizing lobbying forces promoting reasonable policies but also makes clear where the power of lobbying ends and the leadership of a president begins.Read more ›
A disclaimer: I covered many of these same events as State Dept. correspondent for Reuters from 1989-94. I was present at some of the events Miller describes; I traveled with Secretaries Baker and Christopher. I even interviewed Miller himself on background a number of times. (He seemed to enjoy chatting to reporters on background but he rarely revealed anything interesting or useful). For more about me and my latest book The Nazi Hunter: A Novelgo to [...]
This book is an uncertain mix of different genres. The personal memoir I found the most interesting. I wish there were more of these vignettes. I'm interested in the various characters Miller dealt with -- Rabin, Peres, Arafat, King Hussein, Presidents Mubarak and Assad. I'm interested in what went on behind the closed doors because I already know what emerged on the public record (I covered a lot of it). Unfortunately, Miller remains overly coy and discreet. He was never one to give much away and he apparently hasn't changed.
The history segment, in which Miller analyzes the successful Middle East negotiations conducted by Kissinger and President Carter, one can basically read about elsewhere.
The journalism -- he interviewed many of the key players, is somewhat interesting. But most of these actors have a deep interest in presenting events to their best advantage and Miller doesn't really challenge them.
His chapter of the power of the American-Jewish lobby and the fundamentalist Christian-Zionist lobby contained little new.Read more ›
The author had a front row seat for over two decades and has a lot of interesting insights into some of the big plays and major players, but if you haven't been following the game its a little too 'inside baseball'.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Americans who think this nation can put an immediate halt to the conflicts of the Middle East by simply waving our power around need to read this book and seriously think about... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Charlie Aukerman
Insights into this seemingly endless conflict, and the role of United States diplomacy in its evolution. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Yair Weinstock
Miller provides a very personal and down to earth view of his experiences as well as historical information in this well written and very detailed account of his involvement in the... Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by I love to read
This is a great in-depth look at the mideast. Dr. Miller's expertise along with the depth of his experience provides the listener with a superb analysis of the many facets of... Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by James W. Tweeddale
Aaron David Miller's "The Much Too Promised Land" covers Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from his time at the State Department starting in 1978 until he retired after nearly 25... Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Chad Winters
I read the first 100 pages of the book, then read randomly chosen sections of later chapters. Although I find the perspective of the author to be refreshingly honest about himself,... Read morePublished on April 27, 2012 by Wendell Murray
Aaron Miller, like many Americans, misses the point. Muslims in 1926 (Haj Amin Al Husseini) declared the Holy Land as WAQF: Arab/Muslim land cannot be sold to infidels, Jews or... Read morePublished on February 22, 2011 by Isel Breshinski
The book arrived in a timely fashion and met its description. Can't wait to read it!Published on September 25, 2010 by Katie