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The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace

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The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace Cover

ISBN13: 9780553804904
ISBN10: 0553804901
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For nearly twenty years, Aaron David Miller has played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace. His position as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of state, and national security advisors has given him a unique perspective on a problem that American leaders have wrestled with for more than half a century. Why has the world’s greatest superpower failed to broker, or impose, a solution in the Middle East? If a solution is possible, what would it take? And why after so many years of struggle and failure, with the entire region even more unsettled than ever, should Americans even care? Is Israel/Palestine really the “much too promised land”?

As a historian, analyst, and negotiator, perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than Aaron David Miller. Without partisanship or finger-pointing, Miller lucidly and honestly records what went right, what went wrong, and how we got where we are today. Here is an insider’s view of the peace process from a place at the negotiating table, filled with unforgettable stories and colorful behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Here, too, are new interviews with all the key players, including Presidents Carter, Ford, Bush forty-one, all nine U.S. secretaries of state, as well Arab and Israeli leaders, who disclose the inner thoughts and strategies that motivated them. The result is a book that shatters all preconceived notions to tackle the complicated issues of culture, religion, domestic politics, and national security that have defined—and often derailed—a half century of diplomacy.

Honest, critical, and certain to be controversial, this insightful first-person account offers a brilliant new analysis of the problem of Arab-Israeli peace and how, against all odds, it still might be solved.

Review:

"In this extraordinary account of 20 years on the front lines of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, career diplomat Miller provides an impressively candid appraisal of Middle East peace efforts. Drawing from his extensive experience and 160 interviews with presidents, advisers and negotiators, he apportions censure and praise with an even hand, sparing not even his failures or those of his colleagues. Miller evinces genuine compassion for both sides in the conflict (stressing that Americans cannot fully understand the life-and-death stakes in the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians), while maintaining a detachment that allows him to draw hard conclusions. Miller says that though the two sides hold ultimate responsibility for their shared fate, American involvement is imperative and calls for the tough-love approach of Kissinger and Carter, arguing compellingly that such engagement is 'now more vital to our national interests, and to our security, than at any time since the late 1940s.' Although occasionally paternalistic, Miller's writing is both approachable and deeply smart; this and his absolute failure to take sides mean that this work will doubtlessly influence and enrage — and certainly inspire." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decided in 2006 to get serious about trying to shape a legacy in the Middle East, she asked the State Department historian's office for reports on past U.S. efforts to strike an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. She received a stack of papers three feet high.

As a State Department official for nearly two decades, Aaron David Miller was... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Miller (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) has served as an adviser to six secretaries of state and Presidents G.H.W. and George W. Bush, as well as Bill Clinton. He advised these leaders on Middle-East policy and sat alongside them at nearly all attempts to broker a peace between Israeli and Arab representatives. Here he offers his reflections on those negotiations, assisted by interviews with Presidents Carter, Ford, and Bush Sr. as well as all nine of the past U.S. Secretaries of State, among other figures. He discusses areas where he believes headway was made--particularly by Carter and Henry Kissinger, Clinton's failure due to what Miller considers a lack of spine, and the religious beliefs that influenced the policies of the George W. Bush administration and further derailed the so-called "peace process," among many other topics. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Miller--who played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace--shatters many of the preconceived notions about what did and could have happened in the peace process, in this honest, critical, and controversial first-person narrative.

About the Author

Aaron David Miller became a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in January 2006, where he wrote The Much Too Promised Land.

For the prior two decades, he served at the Department of State as an advisor to six secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. He also served as the Deputy Special Middle East Coordinator for Arab-Israeli Negotiations, Senior Member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and in the Office of the Historian. He has received the department's Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor Awards.

Mr. Miller received his Ph.D. in American Diplomatic and Middle East History from the University of Michigan in 1977 and joined the State Department the following year. During 1982 and 1983, he was a Council on Foreign Relations fellow and a resident scholar at the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 1984 he served a temporary tour at the American Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Between 1998 and 2000, Mr. Miller served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. After leaving the state department, Mr. Miller served as president of Seeds of Peace from January 2003 until January 2006. Seeds of Peace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence (www.seedsofpeace.org).

His media and speaking appearances include CNN (including “American Morning,” “Wolf Blitzer Reports,”), “The Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” FOX News, “The NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Evening News,” National Public Radio, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Arabiya, and Al Jazeera. Mr. Miller has also been a featured presenter for the World Economic Forum in Davos and Amman, Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, University of California at Berkeley, The City Club of Cleveland, Chatham House, and The International Institute for Strategic Studies. He has written three prior books on the Middle East and his articles have appeared in newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The International Herald Tribune.

Mr. Miller lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife, Lindsay. They have two children: a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Daniel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jimreed, April 17, 2008 (view all comments by jimreed)
Most of the books about The Middle East - those published in America at least, are brimful of hackneyed phrases and irrelevant detail about all the mistakes that have been made in the past They tell about how the Palestinians are always "missing opportunities" and praise the "painful concessions" Israel has offered.

Few if any - other than those by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter -offer a realistic picture of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Carter was labelled an anti-Semite for his efforts. In fact that label is applied to most people who criticise Israel or question how that country behaves.

James Baker III, George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State is disliked by most American Jews because of his hard-nosed approach to negotiations. Baker developed a reputation for not caving in to the usual American sentimentality around issues concerning Israel. Like Carter, Baker was always a realist.

Now, a Jewish author has come along, who takes a tougher stance than any American politician ever has. But if the pro-Israeli lobby dislikes his work enough he will also be labelled - not as anti-Semitic; Jews who are out of favour with the pro-Israel lobby get called "Self-Haters"...a category the famed American linguist Noam Chomsky finds himself in.

So Mr. Miller's book is a refreshing change of approach from a man who is a genuine Mideast specialist. He tosses out many of the myths American politicians have about Israel. He argues that George W. Bushsh will be no more successful at bringing peace, than were previous U.S. Presidents. The problem Miller points out, is they have all approached the problem in the same way, have offered nothing new and invariably portray Israel as "the good guy".

Miller doesn't spare American policy-makers either. He says, for example, that "the United States has given Israel too much leeway and failed to push it to live up to commitments and make painful choices".

This is, of course, the central problem with the vast majority of North American writing about Palestinians and Israelis. Americans and Canadians have a great deal more sympathy for Israel because our Jewish populations in both countries are almost always pro-Israel; they are also keen participants in our democratic insitutions and their electoral support is important to any political candidate's chances of success. That means accepting everything that Israeli authorities say and do, even if it's patently wrong.

Mr. Miller says that what Israel needs is a strong dose of "tough love" and American officials must resist American Jewish pressure to give in always to Israeli demands.

Here is his advice for the next American president contemplating Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy: “If you’re not prepared to reassure the locals while cracking heads as needed (and both will be needed), don’t bother.”


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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553804904
Subtitle:
America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace
Author:
Miller, Aaron David
Publisher:
Bantam
Subject:
Palestinian arabs
Subject:
Peace
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
International Relations - Diplomacy
Subject:
Middle East Foreign relations.
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
General Current Events
Subject:
General Social Science
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080325
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.19x6.29x1.34 in. 1.36 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Middle East » Arab Israeli Conflict
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » Foreign Policy

The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.38 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Bantam - English 9780553804904 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this extraordinary account of 20 years on the front lines of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, career diplomat Miller provides an impressively candid appraisal of Middle East peace efforts. Drawing from his extensive experience and 160 interviews with presidents, advisers and negotiators, he apportions censure and praise with an even hand, sparing not even his failures or those of his colleagues. Miller evinces genuine compassion for both sides in the conflict (stressing that Americans cannot fully understand the life-and-death stakes in the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians), while maintaining a detachment that allows him to draw hard conclusions. Miller says that though the two sides hold ultimate responsibility for their shared fate, American involvement is imperative and calls for the tough-love approach of Kissinger and Carter, arguing compellingly that such engagement is 'now more vital to our national interests, and to our security, than at any time since the late 1940s.' Although occasionally paternalistic, Miller's writing is both approachable and deeply smart; this and his absolute failure to take sides mean that this work will doubtlessly influence and enrage — and certainly inspire." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Miller--who played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace--shatters many of the preconceived notions about what did and could have happened in the peace process, in this honest, critical, and controversial first-person narrative.
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