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Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East Hardcover – April 1, 2010
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"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.
Top Customer Reviews
Few books have so expertly been able to answer that question better than Geoffrey Wawro's "Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East". Mr. Wawro, who is a Professor of Military History at the University of North Texas, as well as director the Military History Center at UNT, has been able to unravel the Byzantine world of Middle Eastern politics, woven into the cultures and religion of the people for generations, and give the reader a clear and comprehensive history.
For example, Dr. Wawo describes the blunders of the British Empire in closing years of World War I resulting from the vacuum of the collapsing Ottoman Empire and imperialist myopia which left Britain in control of areas such as the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and Palestine, while the French, seeking to maintain its shrinking empire, gained control of Syria. As a result, Arab nationalist aligned themselves with Nazi Germany (and Nazi Germany's policy of anti-Semitism didn't hurt either).Read more ›
Wawro focuses on the US relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. It's in his handling of the latter that he is likely to draw fire from unconditional supporters of Israel who can not accept anything less than the fact that Israel can do no wrong and is the victim of Palestinian and Arab aggressors. So this book is definitely not destined for Israel's apologists who are looking for a work to use as a propaganda tool. For those I suggest work like From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine (a hoax that provides good propaganda material) and The Case for Israel, a very good lawyer's brief, by Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz.
Not that the book is a defense of the Palestinians, Wawro is not interested in taking sides he just lets the facts speak for themselves.
Wawro is likely to please neither apologists for Israel nor those of the Palestinians. I will provide some quotes from the book to make that clear:
" Life in "Israel" (...) continued much as it had for centuries. It was a largely Arab place in which a steady trickle of European Jews mixed with the several thousand Sephardim who had lived in Palestine since their removal from Spain and North Africa in the fifteen's century" p.Read more ›
For those who don't follow the US college ratings, the US Naval War College, where Wawro taught, is second to the US Army War College and both of them rank higher than Harvard, Stanford and the like. Wawro has a PhD in History from Yale. My book arrived earlier today, and I am whipping through it. This is a tour de force, heavily footnoted, and worth every minute spent reading it. Wawro has obviously spent years researching his subject and his erudition is exemplary.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Haven't finished reading but already convinced this is a great read for anyone interested in how we (US) got into such a quagmire - yet again... Read morePublished 3 months ago by cindy zeddies
When an author, in his introduction, quotes Edmund Burke on the study of history you have every right to expect exacting attention to the historical record. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very detailed. Difficult to keep up with names. Probably be more appreciated by someone interested in history detail. Read morePublished 18 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 21 months ago by jere boze
Great read. It explains a lot about what is going on now. APublished 21 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 on May 5, 2014 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