Top positive review
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On Reading Curtis
on May 22, 2012
Speaking as one who was born and grew up in the Middle East, and who has studied it all his life, I found Curtis' book to be quite exceptional. This on several grounds:
1. Though clearly partisan, it is surprisingly non-polemical. Its positions are thoroughly researched and documented. This fact alone should make it a go-to source for serious researchers for years to come.
2. It manages to be both scholarly and highly readable. This should encourage broad dissemination and ensure that it receives the wide audience it deserves, not only among specialists but among an intelligent and curious general public that genuinely wants to learn and inform itself before making up its own mind.
3. My final conclusion after reading this book is by far the most important. As one who has strongly believed all my life in a peaceful, rational, logical, and equitable end-game, I am fascinated by analysis of the impediments to such an obvious outcome. It has become far too easy for nearly a century to play intellectual ping-pong, tossing formulaic and predictable arguments back and forth, while people suffer and die. Too easy, and totally unhelpful. Surely the time has come to ask the question, "Who benefits from perpetuating this tragedy"? One does not have to agree with all of Curtis' positions to share his anger over the fact that constituencies have developed and become entrenched, vested with a desire to PREVENT constructive solutions. Anyone who is serious about moving forward towards that goal owes it to him/herself to inform themselves by reading this book, and recommending that others do the same.