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Tinderbox: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism Paperback – November 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press; 2nd printing edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567512267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567512267
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'This book does a wonderful job of explaining the tragedy of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Professor Zunes powerfully illustrates how the more the United States has militarized the region, the less secure we have become. Perhaps more importantly, he shows how we have become the target of terrorists not because of our values but because our foreign policy has strayed from those values. It is particularly refreshing to find someone who not only recognizes that Palestinian rights and Israeli security are dependent on each other, but understands how U.S. policy has harmed the prospects for both. The list of tragic blunders and policy debacles Zunes details is a long one, yet he concludes with clear policy alternatives and a sincere hope that, through citizen action, our government's pursuit of Pax Americana will some day be replaced by a quest for justice and sustainable peace.' - Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, TIKKUN Magazine 'This is the book that Americans should read to really find out "why they hate us". An essential guide, perhaps the most useful book on the actual record of US foreign policy in the region.' - As`ad AbuKhalil, author of Bin Laden, Islam, and America's New "War on Terrorism" 'A careful, informed and perceptive reconstruction of major historical forces in the Middle East and the world power nexus in which it is enmeshed. Zunes provides very valuable background for analysis and comprehension of what is at stake and where policy choices can be expected to lead. A very useful handbook to the complexities of this disturbed and fateful region.' - Noam Chomsky 'Prescient.' - Richard Falk, Princeton 'Nobody has a better grasp of the impacts of US policies and practices on the Middle East than Stephen Zunes. Nobody states the case for a fundamentally different US policy in a more compelling way.' - Scott Kennedy, Chair, National Council Fellowship of Reconciliation 'His clear exposition exposes the fallacies and contradictions of U.S. Middle East policy and suggests reasonable alternatives.' - Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University, and President, Middle East Studies Association of North America 'A holistic and multi-faceted interpretation of the failures and follies of U.S. policy by one of the most insightful, independent-minded, and prolific Middle East analysts in the United States today.' - Martha Honey, Co-Director, Foreign Policy In Focus Project Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies 'Scholarly analysis at its best. Provocative and perceptive.' - Naseer Aruri, Chancellor Professor (Emeritus), University of Massachusetts 'A rare service combining insights on U.S. policy in the Middle East with a cogent analysis of the current war against terrorism, this book should serve as a textbook for students and a guide for citizens.' - Saul Landau, Director of Digital Media and International Outreach Programs, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 'Zunes has a scope and sweep that are impressive. A must read for anyone who would understand how others see us, the negative impact of many of our policies in the Middle East, and the root causes of terrorism against us.' - Kathleen Christison, author of Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy 'Clearly written, timely, and wise, making complex history understandable even for those without previous background on these issues. For years, Stephen Zunes has been ahead of the curve. We need to listen to him now more than ever.' - Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time 'Tinderbox is exactly what we have needed - a concise, intelligent account of American policy in the Middle East. Bold and persuasive, buttressed by careful research.' - Howard Zinn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Stephen Zunes is an associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. He lives in Santa Cruz.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Heisel on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Even though this book is emotionally painful to read, I feel it is a must-read book for all Americans who want to understand what our government has been doing -- and continues to do -- in the Middle East (and other parts of the world) in our name and with our tax dollars.
It is a clear, concise, well-documented (30 pages of endnotes) and convincing exposition of U.S. foreign policy, particularly vis-a-vis the Middle East. It is not a difficult read at all. I think anyone of third-year high school (and certainly college) age or older would do fine with this book. You don't need a whole lot of background knowledge on the subject in order to understand what Zunes writes.
If you want to know "why they hate us" (although Zunes points out that most people abroad don't hate Americans per se; they hate the policies of our government), this is the book to read. I highly recommend it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John E. Kimber on November 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tinderbox is the first book I know of that successfully integrates all aspects of today's Middle East problems: U.S. foreign policy, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, and Islamic terrorism. And Stephen Zunes does the job superbly. His new book is at the same time a readable journalistic effort--a page turner--as well as a scholarly political science and history work. This is combined journalism, political science, and history writing at its best. This is truly a landmark book on US-Middle East relations.
An important feature of this book is that most of its chapters are self-contained in the sense that they can be profitably read separately, like a handbook, without reading the whole book. For example, you can go to the chapter on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and get an excellent 65-page up-to-date analysis of that subject.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Juan C. Larach on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
The news and history as read in detail and at a distance from mainstream, from someone who follows the news carefully and meticulously.
What is the character of the world's only superpower? How does it relate to others? How does its actions influence behavior of other nations in the Middle East? How is it viewed by the United Nations' members?
A perspective to bring light on these traumatic and dangerous times. Should be required reading for any college history student and anyone wishing to understand the trends in the news.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy And The Roots Of Terrorism by Stephen Zunes (Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program, University of San Francisco) is a informed and informative explanation and analysis of current U.S. policies in the Middle East, with a particular emphasis on their political shortcomings with respect to the rise of international terrorism and American national security. Specifically addressed is the critical question of whether or not American political policies with respect to the Middle Eastern nations have diminished or engendered terrorism? With an especial eye upon the September 11 attacks and their root causes, Tinderbox is a sharply worded, insightful, articulate analysis of politics and its deadly outcomes which is a welcome contribution to the national dialogue regarding the current "war on terrorism".
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