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Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding | [Husain Haqqani]

Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

A character-driven history that describes the bizarrely ill-suited alliance between America and Pakistan, written by a uniquely insightful participant: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US. The relationship between America and Pakistan is based on mutual incomprehension, and always has been. Pakistan - to American eyes - has gone from being a stabilizing friend to an essential military ally to a seedbed of terror.
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Publisher's Summary

A character-driven history that describes the bizarrely ill-suited alliance between America and Pakistan, written by a uniquely insightful participant: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US.

The relationship between America and Pakistan is based on mutual incomprehension, and always has been. Pakistan - to American eyes - has gone from being a stabilizing friend to an essential military ally to a seedbed of terror. America - to Pakistani eyes - has been a guarantee of security, a coldly distant scold, an enthusiastic military supplier and ally, and now a threat to national security and a source of humiliation.

In their sixty-five year relationship, one country has become a global superpower, the other perilously close to a failed state - perhaps one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Husain Haqqani has a unique insight into Pakistan, hishomeland, and America, where he was the Pakistani ambassador and is now a professor at Boston University. His life has mapped the relationship of Pakistan and America, and he has found himself often close to the heart of it - sometimes in very confrontational circumstances, even under house arrest - which has allowed him to write the story of the two countries' turbulent affair, here memorably laid bare.

©2013 Hussani Haqqani (P)2013 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  •  
    Wadood Chaudhary New Jersey ,USA 02-20-14
    Wadood Chaudhary New Jersey ,USA 02-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book overall."

    Although I personally don't like the author but this is a well-researched book and lays out history of delusions from both sides in a very interesting manner, explaining the basis of many conspiracy theories rampant in Pakistan.
    It is well-written and well-narrated.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-10-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "PAKISTAN AND U.S. RELATIONS"

    Husain Haqqani, in “Magnificent Delusions”, recounts the history of Pakistan and its troubled relationship with the United States and India. Haqqani explains how nations act with delusion and misunderstanding. Ethnic diversity within nations makes speaking with one voice impossible. Consequent delusions and misunderstandings between nations foment arms escalation and international conflict.

    Diplomatic policy and action are a reflection of what leaders can do within the framework of their respective governments and cultures. Haqqani infers that delusion and misunderstanding correlate with cultural ignorance; an ignorance that is endemic in nation-to-nation communication.

    Haqqani was imprisoned for his efforts to remove the veil of obfuscation between the United States and Pakistan. He was eventually released by the Pakistani court system and allowed to leave Pakistan. “Magnificent Delusions” is a sad tale of a hard road Pakistan travels. It is a frightening explanation of growing terrorist potential of a country riven by social, economic, and ethnic conflict.

    An ambassador that understands the culture of a country he/she is sent to is the greatest protection from delusion and misunderstanding between host and sponsor countries. “Magnificent Delusions” is an excellent primer for aspiring ambassadors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spike the Untangler MA 02-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Superb"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Magnificent Delusions to be better than the print version?

    The audio was very well done. Vision problems have made the comparison a moot point.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was comprehensive and unbelievably even-handed on an explosively sensitive subject.


    Which character – as performed by Ralph Lister – was your favorite?

    N.A. It was a first person account by the author.


    If you could give Magnificent Delusions a new subtitle, what would it be?

    I think the subtitle was quite apt.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was up to date, absorbing and surprisingly hopeful. Many years ago, I spent two years living in Pakistan as part of a medical research team. I have followed events very closely ever since then with a very skeptical eye. I always worried that the country might implode and drag the neighborhood and possibly the whole world down with it. Of course, Pakistan is not the only flash point; it's just one of the ones I am most familiar with. Additionally, I might add that the United States' involvement in that area of the world has been far from reassuring. The author's allusion to our mutual delusions is very well taken and very courageous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Brampton, Ontario, Canada 01-28-14
    Amazon Customer Brampton, Ontario, Canada 01-28-14 Member Since 2015
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    "It it Delusions or Sleeping with the Enemy"
    Any additional comments?

    I opted to read this book with some skepticism - bordering prejudice - because of the author's switching sides between the two major polarized political parties of Pakistan. Not just that, he orchestrated his career so well that he enjoyed an ambassadorial position with each of the government in power. His standing was further compromised for his alleged involvement in writing a letter to Admiral Mullen to save Pakistan's democracy. I must hasten to add though that by the time I finished this book I was convinced that Mr. Haqqani wrote this book objectively and did not let his personal political life and ambitions eclipse writing about the thorny subject of US-Pakistan relationship.

    I read (rather listened) this book for the very purpose of learning more about this sensitive relationship between the two countries that keeps swinging between the two extremes. Mr. Haqqani did a very good job by narrating this long saga (from 1947 to date) with details, facts and research. It sounds true and accurate and I find no reasons to suspect otherwise.
    This comment is not a reflection on the book but I felt deeply embarrassed and belittled reading that Pakistan picked up the begging bowl right from its inception and never made a sincere effort to let go off it. Even the previous President, Mr. Zardari, was singing the same song – this time under the tune of a Marshall Plan. I wonder if the author, then an ambassador in US, had anything to orchestrate its melody. An irony again that after more half a century Pakistan and US relationship remains uncertain as ever, in that, they are neither trustworthy friends nor arch rivals.

    This comment is essentially about its audio book version. I am not sure if the audio book version was somewhat flawed in the chronology but a few events narrated seemed out of calendar sequence. Also the narration itself lacked in energy and style, hence provided for rather monotonous listening.

    The book however has to be judged for the quality and accuracy of its content and it scores high marks on that score.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Luis Leesburg, VA, United States 01-24-14
    Luis Leesburg, VA, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Extremely Enlightening"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Gives great insight into the thinking and mindset of Pakistani leaders as well as the US Government.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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