Obama and the Middle East: Book summary and reviews of Obama and the Middle East by Fawaz A. Gerges

Obama and the Middle East

The End of America's Moment?

By Fawaz A. Gerges

Obama and the Middle East
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  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

The 2011 Arab Spring upended the status quo in the Middle East and poses new challenges for the United States. Here, Fawaz Gerges, one of the world's top Middle East scholars, delivers a full picture of US relations with the region. He reaches back to the post–World War II era to explain the issues that have challenged the Obama administration and examines the president's responses, from his negotiations with Israel and Palestine to his drawdown from Afghanistan and withdrawal from Iraq. Evaluating the president's engagement with the Arab Spring, his decision to order the death of Osama bin Laden, his intervention in Libya, his relations with Iran, and other key policy matters, Gerges highlights what must change in order to improve US outcomes in the region.

Gerges' conclusion is sobering: the United States is near the end of its moment in the Middle East. The cynically realist policy it has employed since World War II - continued by the Obama administration - is at the root of current bitterness and mistrust, and it is time to remake American foreign policy.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Despite the complexity of the issues involved, this is a highly readable book, recommended for anyone who regularly follows the news in this region." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. An exceptional book that thoroughly scrutinizes the struggles of all the nations of the Middle East and doesn't hesitate to distribute blame where it's warranted." - Kirkus Reviews

"Fawaz Gerges has written a provocative book that should make Americans think carefully about their country's role in the rapidly changing Middle East." - William B. Quandt, professor of Politics, University of Virginia

"A penetrating study by one of the most influential writers on a most troubled region, one that shows every sign of becoming more troubled still in the future. In Gerges' view, the American 'moment' in the Middle East is fast coming to an end with potential consequences we can only yet dimly perceive. A must-read." - Michael Cox, professor and co-director, IDEAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science

"Fawaz Gerges scrutinizes President Obama's Middle Eastern policy with the clinical accuracy and piercing insight of one of the leading authorities on the region. Distinguishing sweeping rhetoric from policy, he is compelling in demonstrating that while Obama has inherited reduced influence abroad and a rapidly changing landscape, American official attitudes remain largely constant." - James Piscatori, Durham University

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Fawaz A. Gerges is a professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he is chair of the Middle East Centre. He was a senior ABC television news analyst from 2000 until 2007 and has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Oprah, ABC Nightline, and other prominent shows. He has contributed pieces to The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Middle East Journal, Al Mustaqbal al-Arabi, and many others. He lives in London.

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