A World of Trouble by Patrick Tyler
The White House and the Middle East--from the Cold War to the War on Terror

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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. Bush’s 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 America’s standing in the region.


About Patrick Tyler

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Patrick Tyler worked for twelve years at The Washington Post before joining The New York Times in 1990, where he served as chief correspondent. His books include Running Critical, A Great Wall (which won the 2000 Lionel Gelber Prize), and A World of Trouble. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Published February 16, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 653 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A World of Trouble

The Guardian

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With these acts of disobedience - acts which were also, as Tyler says, arguably unconstitutional - Kissinger closed off the possibility that the 1973 war could have been ended on terms which would have left Israel in a less powerful position, making it more amenable to an ensuing push for a settl...

Feb 06 2009 | Read Full Review of A World of Trouble: The White...

Christian Science Monitor

But Tyler’s recommendations – consistency in US foreign policy, continuous engagement with the Middle East, a more balanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, accommodation with the Islamic world combined with an unwavering commitment to punishing terrorists who attack US interests – are forc...

| Read Full Review of A World of Trouble: The White...

Christian Science Monitor

“After nearly six decades of escalating American involvement in the Middle East, it remains nearly impossible to discern any overarching approach to the region,” writes Tyler.

May 08 2011 | Read Full Review of A World of Trouble: The White...

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