Beyond America's Grasp by Stephen P. Cohen
A Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East

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In this book, the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen traces U.S. policy in the region back to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, when the Great Powers failed to take crucial steps to secure peace there. He sees in that early diplomatic failure a pattern shaping the conflicts since then—and America’s role in them.

A century ago, there emerged two dominant views regarding the uses of America’s newfound power. Woodrow Wilson urged America to promote national freedom and self-determination through the League of Nations—in stark contrast to his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt, who had advocated a vigorous foreign policy based on national self-interest.

Cohen argues that this running conflict has hobbled American dealings in the Middle East ever since. In concise, pointed chapters, he shows how different Middle East countries have struggled to define themselves in the face of America’s stated idealism and its actual realpolitik. This conflict came to a head in the confused, clumsy Middle East policy of George W. Bush—but Cohen suggests the ways a greater awareness of our history in the region might enable our present leaders to act more sensibly.

About Stephen P. Cohen

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STEPHEN P. COHEN, the president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development, has lectured at Yale and elsewhere. For over forty years, he has made 150 trips to the region, and attended the Madrid peace conference and other high-stakes meetings. He lives in New Jersey.
Published October 27, 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 304 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The director of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development fashions a big-picture overview of the long-teetering relationship between America and the Arab nations.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Beyond America's Grasp: A Cen...

Publishers Weekly

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In what should become required reading for those interested in the Middle East, Cohen, director of the Institute of Middle East Peace and Development, provides a richly detailed history of diplomac

Jun 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Beyond America's Grasp: A Cen...

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