To understand the momentous events that have occurred in the Middle East over the last two decades—including two Gulf wars, the occupation of Iraq, and the rise of terrorism—we must understand the crucial interplay of cold war superpowers there from 1945 to 1990. Khalidi presents the compelling case that U.S. and Soviet intervention in the region deeply exacerbated civil wars and provoked the breakdown of fragile democracies, and continues to this day to shape global conflict in the Middle East.
"Gets the reader up to speed on many of the disputes that have made the Middle East a flashpoint in today’s U.S. foreign policy. Khalidi places it all in context, and infuses it with sharp analysis. He writes engagingly and knowledgeably about U.S. and Soviet maneuvers that exacerbated the already severe tensions between Arab states and Israel." (Kirkus)
©2009 Beacon Press (P)2009 Beacon Press
Strange to say a book of history concerning the Cold War would need updating, but it really shows that Sowing Crisis was written during the Bush years and prior to the Arab Spring. Many references to the 'present' no longer hold in 2013.
Otherwise, the analysis and research is well worth considering, although very little will truly be new to anyone with a basic understanding of 20th century dynamics in the Middle East. This book will be more informative for the newcomer. I preferred Khalidi's other woks, particularly The Iron Cage.
My biggest complaint with the audio book is that the narrator should have been coached on pronunciations for various Arab and Israeli names. Every time he says 'Nasser' or 'Begin' is cringe-worthy. Otherwise, a competent reading.
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