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Beyond America's Grasp: A Century of…
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Beyond America's Grasp: A Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle…

by Stephen P. Cohen

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Quite a bit of the work is balanced, sensitive, and straight forward. Occasionally, though, he does lapse into the if only people would talk everything would work out fine mentality. Jews and Palestinians are not going to sit at a table and work things out despite the best of intentions. He does review numerous countries with the attempt to survey the salient features of the countries examined. Cohen's vast travels also helps create an understanding that he knows most of the region from first-hand experience.

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  gmicksmith | Mar 17, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374281246, Hardcover)

AN INCISIVE “WHITE PAPER” ON THE UNITED STATES’S STRUGGLE TO FRAME A COHERENT MIDDLE EAST POLICY

In this book, the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen traces U.S. policy in the region back to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, when the Great Powers failed to take crucial steps to secure peace there. He sees in that early diplomatic failure a pattern shaping the conflicts since then—and America’s role in them.

A century ago, there emerged two dominant views regarding the uses of America’s newfound power. Woodrow Wilson urged America to promote national freedom and self-determination through the League of Nations—in stark contrast to his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt, who had advocated a vigorous foreign policy based on national self-interest.

Cohen argues that this running conflict has hobbled American dealings in the Middle East ever since. In concise, pointed chapters, he shows how different Middle East countries have struggled to define themselves in the face of America’s stated idealism and its actual realpolitik. This conflict came to a head in the confused, clumsy Middle East policy of George W. Bush—but Cohen suggests the ways a greater awareness of our history in the region might enable our present leaders to act more sensibly.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:57 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen traces U.S. policy in the region back to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, when the Great Powers failed to take crucial steps. He sees in that early failure a pattern shaping the conflicts since then--and America's role in them. A century ago, there emerged two dominant views on the uses of America's newfound power. Woodrow Wilson urged America to promote national freedom and self-determination--in contrast to his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt, who had advocated a vigorous foreign policy based on national self-interest. Cohen argues that this running conflict has hobbled American dealings in the Middle East ever since, showing how different countries have struggled to define themselves in the face of America's stated idealism and its actual realpolitik. This conflict came to a head in the clumsy Middle East policy of George W. Bush--but Cohen suggests ways in a greater awareness of our history might enable our present leaders to act more sensibly.--From publisher description.… (more)

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