Synopses & Reviews
The White House and the Middle East—from the Cold War to the War on Terror
The Middle East is the beginning and the end of U.S. foreign policy: events there influence our alliances, make or break presidencies, govern the price of oil, and draw us into war. But it was not always so—and as Patrick Tyler shows in this thrilling chronicle of American misadventures in the region, the story of American presidents dealings there is one of mixed motives, skulduggery, deceit, and outright foolishness, as well as of policymaking and diplomacy.
Tyler draws on newly opened presidential archives to dramatize the approach to the Middle East across U.S. presidencies from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. He takes us into the Oval Office and shows how our leaders made momentous decisions; at the same time, the sweep of this narrative—from the Suez crisis to the Iran hostage crisis to George W. Bushs catastrophe in Iraq—lets us see the big picture as never before. Tyler tells a story of presidents being drawn into the affairs of the region against their will, being kept in the dark by local potentates, being led astray by grasping subordinates, and making decisions about the internal affairs of countries they hardly understand. Above all, he shows how each president has managed to undo the policies of his predecessor, often fomenting both anger against America on the streets of the region and confusion at home.
A World of Trouble is the Middle East book we need now: compulsively readable, free of cant and ideology, and rich in insight about the very human challenges a new president will face as he or she tries to restore Americas standing in the region.
"An authoritative, richly detailed account of American policy in the Middle East . . . [Tyler] writes vividly, allowing the reader access to White House meetings, huddles in the corridors of power, seats at international summits."—Adam LeBor, The New York Times
"Patrick Tyler . . . has written an engaging but idiosyncratic account of U.S. interactions with the Middle East from 1956 onward."—Steven Simon, The Washington Post
"Tyler documents not the interest of Israel but the cost in treasure and blood that the United States and the Middle East peoples have paid during decades without a coherent US policy in the region. He shows vividly the damage done by Israeli and Arab leaders alike in persistently bringing too little, too late, to the peace process."—Charles A. Radin, The Boston Globe
"Tyler is forthright in a way American journalists usually are not. . . . [A World of Trouble] completes a formidable charge sheet against the occupants of the White House over the last half century which is, in its page-by-page human detail, as gripping as it is depressing."—Martin Woollacott, The Guardian (UK)
"Rich in irony and incident, Patrick Tyler's history of the White House and the Middle East would make instructive reading for the latest occupant of the Oval Office. . . . A lucid and even-handed introduction to a deeply contentious subject."—Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times (UK)
Tyler draws on newly opened presidential archives to dramatize the approach to the Middle East across U.S. presidencies from Eisenhower to George W. Bush, showing how each president has managed to undo the policies of his predecessor, often provoking anger against America.
About the Author
has reported extensively from both the Middle East and Washington for The New York Time
s and The Washington Post
. A Texan, he lives in Washington, D.C.