Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East

Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East : US Foreign Policy, Israel and World History

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How did the US become a world power? How did it become involved in the Middle East? What is the history and nature of its 'special relationship' with Israel?

Given the increase in tensions in the Middle East, and the United States' involvement in them, news coverage is in abundance. Yet, the reportage and discussion of American foreign policy is often narrow in scope, offering little background or context. And yet, the historical record sharply contrasts with reportage. Guiding the reader through a panoramic sweep of world and American history, we see how the US became a world power, how the Middle East became 'modern' and how Israel became an American 'strategic asset.' Disavowing the rhetoric commonly used by heads of state, press secretaries, news media, and commentators, we see how recent turmoil is closer to business-as-usual.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 242 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 15.24mm | 294.84g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 maps
  • 0745327095
  • 9780745327099
  • 1,320,135

Table of contents



Part 1: History and context

1. From empire to nation-state: the genesis of modernity's 500 years

2. The rise of American power: from Columbus to the

Cold War

Part 2: Dominion and supremacy

3. The modern Middle East and Israel: a summary

4. The United States and Israel: the special relationship

from Truman to Reagan

Part 3: Diplomacy and influence

5. The peace process: anatomy of an injustice

6. The Israel lobby: anatomy of a controversy


Select Bibliography

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Review quote

'Lucid insights to readers seeking to understand why America's approach to the Middle East has produced such terrible results. Sharp, persuasive, and based on a clear reading of history, it helps us re-imagine the world's most volatile region' -- Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow 'A clear-headed book on empire, because it describes fluently why the responsibility for dealing with rapacious power cannot simply be blamed on history but rests with us right now' -- John Pilger
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About Gregory Harms

Gregory Harms is an independent scholar based in Chicago. He is co-author of the classic textbook The Palestine-Israel Conflict (Pluto, 2017) and author of Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East (Pluto, 2010).
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