Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
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.