War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History, Revised and UpdatedBy Avi Shlaim
- Author: Avi Shlaim
- Publisher: Penguin Books
- Edition: Revised ed.
The politics of the Middle East often seems complex to the point of mysteriousness. How can Americans decipher the latest diplomatic tilt, rumor of war, or threat to oil supplies? Where will the Middle East's centuries-old quest for self-determination lead? An Oxford professor of international relations finds the answers in a historical context that is often overlooked. With a special focus on the last half-century, he illuminates the four phases of external involvment--Ottoman, European, Superpower, and American--that have molded the political evolution of the Middle East. He assesses the past roles of Britain, France, and the former Soviet Union, clarifies how power and influence have shifted in the aftermath of the Cold War, and appraises both the recurrent myopia of the United States and the country's essential function as a mediatior. Shrewd, witty, and highly readable, this book offers invaluable insights for the student and general reader about one of the most volatile subsystems of international politics. --From cover.