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The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation Paperback – June 30, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300151144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300151145
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,489,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This book is a must read to understand how to address the challenges facing the Middle East today." President Bill Clinton "In this painstakingly fair-minded and sensible memoir Muasher tries to show why there is still no solution to the Palestinan-Israeli imbroglio... His tome is a litany of disappointment and frustration, studded with plenty of useful insights and anecdotes. Yet it is not without hope; the outline of a two-state solution is still there for all to see. The next American president would do well to peruse Mr. Muasher's offering." The Economist "Muasher's book raises what may be the most damning criticism of the Bush administration's Middle East policy - that it has unwittingly undercut the very people the United States wanted most to help." David Ignatius, Washington Post"

About the Author

Marwan Muasher has held many high-level positions within the government of Jordan, including Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Ambassador to the United States, and first Jordanian Ambassador to Israel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Susan Duncan on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For those of us who follow Arab politics closely, I found that this book has many new things to say. Marwan Muasher has been privy to three unique situations. (A) He was the first Jordanian Ambassador to Israel. (B) He was one among very few to be around the late King Hussein during the last few weeks of his life (intrigues over the succession issue). (C) He is intimately familiar with details of the many peace process attempts with Israel.
More like a personal diary, it is full anecdotes that show the human side of his time with King Hussein and as ambassador. It is an easy read and has good insights into the psyche of the Arab and the Israeli political players.
The last part of the book also has some interesting things to say. It is a candid non apologetic exposé on reform in the Arab world--not academic but fairly analytical. He talks about his experience (and frustrations) during the formulation of a document and roadmap for reform in Jordan--liberalization of press, democratization of the election process, curbing nepotism, the institutionalization of a merit based public sector, gender and economic parity--and the challenges of this process. This document was presented as the National Agenda in 2005, and to date, that is what it remains, an agenda. Some themes of discussion in this part of the book are the resistance of an old social guard to any change, the dynamics of the political/economic elites in the Arab world and a view on the political role of the different religious movements in the region. A must book to have.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sam Clif on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A reference of authority on Middle East Politics, terrorism, and hope through modernization.

This book is by far the best of what has been written about Modern Middle East Politics and current affairs. It takes the reader through a journey of the most important political events in the Middle East and the Arab world that affected the local scene and the international community in the past decade and a half, including the peace process, global terrorism, and political reform. Skillfully, Muasher links the current state of affairs with the cultural, religious, and historical dimensions of the region and the people, providing a thorough understanding of the roots and causes of local politics and its influence on global affairs.

Furthermore, the author's vast experience with the peace process as the first ambassador of Jordan to Israel, the ambassador of his country to the US, and Jordan's Foreign Minister, together with his leadership role in the political, economic and social reform efforts in the Arab world provide a unique internal perspective on the future of the Middle East. Muasher provides valuable insights on the ongoing struggle between the traditional sociopolitical forces and the progressive/moderate camp and its effect on democratic reform,international politics, and the relationship of the Arab world with the West.

The book is an easy read and proficiently simplifies to the reader very complicated cultural, historic, and religious issues and presents them in a very informative way.

Muasher represent a breath of a fresh air in the Middle East Politics. This is a MUST READ BOOK.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jean-Jacques Vitrac on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation
This is probably the most comprehensive and objective approach to the Middle-East situation.
The author - Dr. Marvan Muasher - has been in a unique position to study the peace process between Palestine and Israel: as Jordan Foreign Minister, a political position, but also as Jordan Ambassador to Israel, a diplomatic position, his experience is diverse and well informed, taking the Israeli views into consideration as well as his own Arab understanding of the many facets of this long-lasting crisis.
The language is clear and - as a former Jordan Ambassador to the US - Dr. Muasher's presentation is intended to be easily understood by American readers, scholars, students or even uninformed members of the civil society at large.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Middle-East Peace process.
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