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Wawro is a historian whose previous works have focused upon warfare in nineteenth-century Europe; viewers of the History Channel may also recognize him as the telegenic host of Hardcover History and other programs. In this book, Wawro tackles the formidable challenge of writing a comprehensive history of American involvement in the Middle East. In many ways an attempt to explain the historical genesis of the bind in which the U.S. currently finds itself, the author’s main narrative threads are the U.S.’ complicated and often conflicting relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabia. All else, he suggests, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and perennial tensions with Iran, is to some extent a collateral consequence of these Israeli and Saudi allegiances. Noting many parallels between past mistakes and present challenges, this selection culminates in an earnest argument for a more coherent and historically honest foreign policy going forward. It’s 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. --Brendan Driscoll
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Very detailed. Difficult to keep up with names. Probably be more appreciated by someone interested in history detail. Read morePublished 9 months ago by marlene cooper cooper
Confirmed my fears. As a former ASN (ASST Secretary of the Navy) once said, "the problem with spending so much time in Washington is that one starts believing they are more... Read morePublished 11 months ago by jere boze
Great read. It explains a lot about what is going on now. APublished 12 months ago by anne anderson
In a country so cowed and framed by the Jewish lobby as it is USA, it is a real accomplishment to write a book where a big factor of USA unhealthy involvement in Middle East is... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Fernando Villegas
This book is very helpful to understanding the changes in America's foreign policy over time. Wawro succeeds in highlighting as he sees it the reasons for America's actions towards... Read morePublished on July 8, 2012 by Alexander Robinson
I consider myself to have studied in more depth than many, about history in general, and the Middle East in particular. Read morePublished on January 21, 2012 by The Bluescaster
I recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding American foreign policy since the end of WWII. Read morePublished on June 28, 2011 by Georges Chateau
This might have been a worthwhile history except the author feels compelled to use every event in the Middle East since 1918 as a means to bash George W. Bush. Read morePublished on April 25, 2011 by Koba
Warro has written the most understandable history of U.S - Middle East relationships I have ever read. Read morePublished on October 22, 2010 by Jack Schnabel