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    $15.49 list($25.95)
    1. First In: An Insider's Account
    $16.47 $14.98 list($24.95)
    2. Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside
    $18.15 $15.50 list($27.50)
    3. Imperial Hubris: Why the West
    $11.16 $6.78 list($15.95)
    4. From Beirut to Jerusalem (Updated
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    5. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an
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    6. Shooter : The Autobiography of
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    7. Against the Odds: Riding for My
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    8. Understanding Iraq: The Whole
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    9. Inside the Kingdom : My Life in
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    10. A Pretext for War : 9/11, Iraq,
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    11. Crusades Through Arab Eyes
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    12. Silent Images : Women in Pharaonic
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    13. Ghost Wars: The Secret History
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    14. Masters of Chaos: The Secret History
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    15. Among Warriors in Iraq : True
    $38.25 $38.24 list($51.00)
    16. A History of the Modern Middle
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    17. Jesus & the Forgotten City:
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    18. War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom
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    19. The First Crusade: A New History
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    20. A Peace to End All Peace: The

    1. First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
    by Gary Schroen
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $15.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0891418725
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Presidio Press
    Sales Rank: 198
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
    One of the finest books I ever read. It is the thrilling tale of Gary Schroen's experience in Afghanistan. His thrilling accounts of his interactions with Afghani warlords, are simply incredible. ... Read more

    2. Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Secret Saudi-U.S. Connection
    by Gerald L. Posner
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400062918
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 1201
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars America's Saudi problem
    Saudi Arabia is officially an ally of the United States. It very often is the OPEC member that adds on to the oil supply , and so keeps the price down. It has huge holdings of US financial instruments. It has especially good personal connections with many of American leaders, among whom are the Bush family. It has been considered an ally of the United States since the time of President Franklin Roosevelt.
    However Saudi Arabia is also the home of Wahabi Islam. This radical xenophobic form of Islam is the principal ideology of Islamic terrorism. Saudi Arabia 's school - system preaches violent anti- Americanism. Eleven of the fifteen terrorists of 9/11 were Saudis. The largest contingent of foreign terrorists operating against the Iraqi regime, and US forces in Iraq are Saudis. The Saudis through Islamic charitable organizations ( as Posner makes clear in this book) are major funders of terror in the world.
    Thus the US- Saudi connection is an important, problematic, and questionable one.
    Posner in this research addsevidence regarding the negative role Saudi Arabia plays in the whole struggle against Terror, and in the US effort to push toward Democracy in the Middle East. He provides evidence showing how Saudi influence has penetrated and corrupted law-enforcement and political agencies in the United States.
    This book even addsthe somewhat unlikely and not fully provedstory of the Saudis having in fear of a US invastion and takeover attemptcompletely mining their oil- fields.
    Aside from the questionable character of this storyPosner does present a well- documented picture of Saudi double- dealing toward the United States.
    It too points out how the Saudi connection has prevented the US from going all out in the war on terror. For to do this the US would have to also confront and transform the Saudi regime itself.
    Whoever reads this book and studies the present US- Saudi connection will leave it having considerable worries about the present course of US foreign policy, and in fact the future of Western democracy in an energy hungry world.
    A vital work for understanding one of the great threats to American democracy today.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Based on Newspaper Articles; Nothing New
    This book is almost all based on secondary sources like newspaper articles and op-eds. It basically rehashes SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL by Robert Baer and HATRED's KINGDOM by Dore Gold. If you have read those books, you can dispense with this one.

    The only new thing Posner offers is a chapter on a supposed "scorched earth policy" the Saudis have to blow up their oil facilities. The only source given for this is an ISRAELI intelligence official (unnamed, of course). Ahhh, how Posner loves his unnamed sources, and how silly that looks after the Newsweek fiasco!

    Now, you don't have to buy into silly Zionist conspiracy theories to realise that an Israeli just MIGHT want to spread around that kind of info about Saudi Arabia...

    Apart from that, you'll have read everything -- and I mean everything -- Posner has to say on the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

    You would do better to spend your money on INSIDE THE MARAGE by Thomas Lippman or SAUDI ARABIA EXPOSED by John R. Bradley. At least those two authors have BEEN to Saudi Arabia, and Bradley speaks Arabic too. Lippman admittedly is a bit dry and he goes on about Saudi Aramco for ever, but Bradley's book is a riot and worth the price of all the books I mentioned here put together!

    SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM, in short, is VERY disappointing. What kind of a "secret" can be attributed by an author to the mainsteam US media??? I am sick of all these unnamed sources!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Secrets of the Kingdom" reveals, and reveals, and reveals
    As one "Secrets" reviewer wrote, 1973 was a pivotal year when the Arabs attacked Israel.After reading Gerald Posner's "Secrets of the Kingdom" it looks as though they also began their attack on the U.S. in 1973!As Posner notes (by the way, don't miss any of the footnotes and chapter notes) 1973 is also the year the radical Islamic Association landed on the doorstep of the U.S., founded by the Muslim Brothers from whence it made several mutations to launch fundraising fronts for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Al Qaeda causes.

    This latest Posner true-crime thriller discreetly cries out for help -- from Capitol Hill policymakers to the U.N. -- to get to the bottom of the "scorched earth" scenario played out in the pages of the book.And as aptly noted in Posner's first chapter, "who let our ransom go?"Who let Ahmed bin Salman, now dead Prince Ahmed bin Salman, sally forth from Lexington, KY to London, England in a private jet on September 16, 2001 with nary a detailed interview?And then let him back into the U.S. to enjoy the Thoroughbred racing season through the running of the Preakness in 2002, evidently with nary a question? What did the Saudi royals know about the planned 9/11 attack?

    This book is a gem, and puts into perspective contemporary Saudi history as no other book has. It captures your interest.It is provacative. Tuesday I was watching U.S. Senate hearings on the Iraq oil diversion scheme to enrich Saddam.Curiously, former French Minister Charles Pasqua was named a reputed beneficiary of the kickback scheme.And so was British MP George Galloway.Then, when I read "Secrets of the Kingdom" Wednesday, I saw that name again, Charles Pasqua, and noted that he had investigated Saudi charities as a source of terrorist financing and had tried to get assistance from the Saudis who turned a deaf ear in 1994 ... As to British MP Galloway, why in 1994 and 1996 it seems he helped Saudi dissidents who fled to England seeking assylum. Since charges against the above were reputedly falsely leveled by Tariq Aziz and other Iraqi detainees under CIA control, it makes me wonder if those Saudi interpreters used by the CIA aren't double agents working their own agendas, cutting deals for Saudis,for Aziz and others, and working for the Royal House of Saud.We know the royals are looking for any way they can to "sack" people whose views are critical of the House of Saud.

    An excellent read, highly recommended.

    Lois Ann Battuello
    Napa Valley CA USA

    5-0 out of 5 stars Over a barrel
    This may be one of the most important books of the year as it points out not only the bargain with the devilwe make when we ally ourselvesmorally bankrupt countries but the larger problem of our dependence on oil and the continuing missteps we make in trying to secure that resource.
    I see Posner's book as balanced and carefully researched. In my opinion as a journalist he does not seem betray any liberal or conservative bias.
    Saudi Arabia was somewhat of a backwater as well as a country whose survival was in question until oil was discovered there by Americans in the 1930s.
    Posner gives usbackground of life in Saudi Arabia before the days of oil. The picture is not a pretty one. It was a society both intolerant and brutal.
    But when oil was discovered the US, originally through Aramco, a dance began with this peculiar culture.
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia long has a history of being anti Jewish and later anti-Israel.
    The UShas been trying to perform a balancing act for decades betweenits support for Israel and while trying to maintain a good relationship with Saudi Arabia. In the meantime the Saudishave been waging an ideological war in both fundingthe Wahabis in their own country and funding projects in our own universities.
    Posner points out how we have and continueto defer to the Saudis time and again.
    This brings us to 9-11-01 and these post 9-11 days.
    Posner exposes members of the House of Saud that had, and may still have, direct connections to al-Qaeda. He also account chilling plans the ruling familyhas to detonate their own oil fields with radiological devices in the event they are overthrown.
    The authors does a wonderful job showing how the interests of Saudi Arabia and the US have become complicatedly entangled despite the fact that the two countrieshave vastly different goals.
    Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good investigative reporting, not shocking
    I was very impressed with Gerald Posner's book, "Case Closed," so when I saw this book, I was eager to read it.And I was not disappointed.It shows the same careful and thorough approach.

    It begins by showing the legacy of Saudi extremism, slavery, racism, bigotry, intolerance, and chauvinism.And then we get to the subject of oil money.That money, combined with King Faisal's preoccupation with Jews and Zionists (whom he saw as evil) was a toxic mix.It resulted in pressure on Aramco as well as on the United States government directly to try to help change American foreign policy in the Middle East.

    Of course, for the United States to abandon an ally in that region would have unpredictable but almost certainly fairly serious and negative consequences.So when the Arabs attacked Israel in 1973, the United States soon found itself aiding its ally, much to the displeasure of Saudi leaders.And we see the result of this displeasure: boycotts, embargoes, Saudi funding of terror, and Saudi contributions to American universities (in an obvious attempt to promote the teaching of Saudi racism here).

    Posner also shows us some of the American response to this.There has been plenty of American timidity, especially in the State Department.But there has also been an anti-boycott law, as well as some state condemnations of Saudi intolerance.

    This is a well written book and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

    3. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
    by Michael Scheuer
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $18.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1574888498
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-15)
    Publisher: Brassey's Inc
    Sales Rank: 138
    Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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    The war on terror has created near unanimity on many points, at least within the American press and political leadership. One essential point of agreement: al Qaeda specifically and radical Islamism in general are stirred by a hatred of modernity. Or as President George W. Bush has articulated repeatedly, they hate freedom. Nonsense, responds the nameless author of this work and 2003's Through Our Enemies' Eyes (the senior U.S. intelligence official's identity became an open secret by publication date). Indeed, he grimly and methodically discards common wisdom throughout this scathing and compelling take on counterterrorism. Imperial Hubris is not a book that will cheer Americans, regardless of their perspectives on the post-9/11 environment. We are, the author notes, losing the war on terror. Hawks will squirm as the author heaps contempt on U.S. missions in Afghanistan (too little, too late) and Iraq ("a sham causing more instability than it prevents"), but opponents of Bush administration policies may blanch at Anonymous' suggestion that what's needed is for the West to"proceed with relentless, brutal, and, yes, blood-soaked offensive military actions until we have annihilated the Islamists who threaten us." Quoting the at-all-cost likes of William Tecumseh Sherman and Curtis Lemay on one hand and contending that unrelenting military measures be accompanied by concessions to the ideology of the militants on the other are unlikely to curry widespread support from either side of the divide. And how will readers conditioned to references to Osama bin Laden as a deranged gangster or simple-minded fanatic with deep pockets digest the respect accorded "the most popular anti-American leader in the world today"? Imperial Hubris clearly wasn't written to win friends, though the author believes it's essential that his words influence people at the top. Whether it will is debatable, but that this blunt, forceful, urgently argued polemic recharges the discussion is a foregone conclusion. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars CIA Strikes Back
    It is important to realize that this book is not a lashing out at the current administration but a clarification of a state of affairs in the United States and abroad. The scapegoating of the CIA by the administration for faulty information on WMD possession to justify its invasion of Iraq has perhaps resulted in the need for the CIA to respond in the only manner it can, anonymously. Read this book not as a defamation of a president or an administration but as a genuine critique of imperial overstretch and its consequences for America's war on terror.

    5-0 out of 5 stars C'mon...
    I have read this book. I think the people giving it one star are ideologues who couldn't open their minds to ANYTHING outside of bombing muslims to make them submit to our will.

    The author sounds like the few CIA workers who have TRIED to wake up the agency AND our government to the realities of Islamic terror. I, for one, do not think this book's detractors are average joes. They sound like ideologues who do nothing but discredit ideas and opinions to suit their agendas. Do you critics understand the CIA's role? They give intelligence advice to the President and Congress so foreign policy decisions can be made. Sorry, but you can't ALWAYS shoot the messenger. The person interpreting the data needs to have a good head.

    Sure the CIA dropped the ball on 9/11 and with regards to the invasion of Iraq (even though I think Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney helped speed the misinformation up to get what they wanted) but from what has come out in these 9/11 hearings, the President and his cabinet refused to listen when information contrary to their agenda was given to them. I do remember the CIA saying back in November of 2002 that they DID NOT think Iraq was an IMMINENT threat. I do remember this and then ALL OF A SUDDEN politics took hold and they changed their tune (hmmm...sounds like POLITICAL PRESSURE!)

    Reading this book, I realized that the author is completely on target with his observations. If he is truly the man who was in charge of chasing Bin Laden, I would assume he is steeped in vast knowledge of the Middle East, it's cultures and personalities. His viewpoint makes sense. We need to change our approach if we wish to purge extremists from the Middle East. No, I do not think Muslims are "humiliated" by our successes, they are humiliated because America treats everyone of them like terrorists and supports Israel wholeheartedly.

    I am not saying we should ditch Israel, but like any friend, we need to have more stern dialogue with them and change some things.

    I dunno...the Middle East is a mess, but since I have strong knowledge of the region, I can say that we helped in this mess and we MUST clean it up. The author has a point of view that may help break it down for my other countrymen to understand the situation better.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No Secrets Revealed
    Sorry, no secrets were found but Anonymous has good insights when "analysis" runs into the "message".

    Given the recent stable of anti-Bush books, you would think this book is part of the race for first-place in that crowded field. I would disagree. "Hubris" belongs with Steve Coll's "Ghost Wars" or Robert Baer's "Sleeping With the Devil..." and "See Know Evil..." If you must be political... read "America Alone" by Halper and Clarke. "Hubris" will compliment the reading of any of these books and if you have not read them... I suspect you will.

    Any way you read "Imperial Hubris", it is likely you will not be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the book!!!!!!!!
    I knew long before all this. I came from Europe (not France). You never asked yourself why Europe a traditional partner of USA was opposing the war in IRAK? Everything written in this book is no secret anywhere else but America, because on national television stations were aired plenty of documentaries showing the reality. I welcome this book. The American people needed to know the truth about the so called "War on terror". Only by knowing you can address the issue correctly. Enjoy the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not 5 Stars - Much Hype and Book Saturation?
    People tend to rate this book one star or five. Clearly it is not 1 star. Anyone assigning one or two stars to this book is an idiot. But similarly anyone thinking this is dramatic and new material has their head in the sand. There have already been a zillion books and opinions.

    We have been on an overdose of these books. I recently many books including House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger (excellent book) - the biggest tell all blockbuster (my opinion), The Choice by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Disarming Iraq, by Hans Blix, Noam Chomsky's Hegemony of Survival, Thirty Days (about Tony Blair) by Peter Stothard, and Price of Loyalty, Paul O'Neill (excellent book), Why America Slept by Gerald Posner, Against All Eneamies by Richard Clarke, and more. I put together a "listmania" list of the 25 best books - the best books - mainly non political, no strong bias conservative or liberal - a spectrum of opinion when you take them all together

    So is there really much new in this book that we did not already read, know, or could surmise or figure out on our own? The short answer is no. I think we are reaching the point of book saturaion on Iraq and Bin Laden, plus there is an unhealthy mixture of patriotic propaganda all mixed into the debate.

    This book sadly has had more pre-printing hype than new information and I do not think it is "a buy", so I cannot recommend. There are many better books especially by Craig Unger, Richard A. Clarke, Brzezinski and others. This is just one more coming late to the table. Also the author's theme here is really not much different from what Chomsky has been saying for decades.

    3 or 4 stars and do not run out and buy.

    Jack in Toronto ... Read more

    4. From Beirut to Jerusalem (Updated with a New Chapter)
    by Thomas L. Friedman
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385413726
    Catlog: Book (1990-08-01)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 3066
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This revised edition of the number-one bestseller and winner of the 1989 National Book Award includes the Pulitzer Prize Winning author's new, updated epilogue.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (122)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a fantastic look at Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East
    I had this book on my "to read" list for about a year, and then it sat on my shelf for five months after buying it before I finally got around to reading it. Now that I have finished the book I have to wonder what took me so long. The book is exceptional. From Beirut to Jerusalem is the story of Thomas Friedman and his analysis of the Palestine/Israel conflict. Friedman is a three time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and this book presents and even handed and fair look at both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The book is broken up into three sections: Beirut, Jerusalem, and Washington.

    Beirut is the story of the Palestinians. When Friedman was a young reporter, he was assigned a beat in Beirut (the newspaper made a point to assign a Jewish reporter to cover Beirut). Friedman does a good job showing exactly how the PLO came to power and the importance (and the flaw) of Yasir Arafat in the Palestinian movement. Despite being Jewish himself, Friedman does not present much of a bias against the Palestinians in his reporting. Friedman shows how there truly is no central authority for the Palestinians and how amazing it is the Arafat was able to unify the PLO into any sort of centralized body. The one thing that surprised me was how the Palestinians (and Beirut as a whole) was essential tribal politics. Beirut was an example of what can go right in having a disparate group of Christians, Jews, and Muslims live together in a Middle Eastern city. Beirut also ended up being a disaster of what can go wrong: everything. When push came to shove, the different groups split apart, formed militias and held fast to tribal lines. It was in Beirut that the PLO found a temporary home (at least until Israel pushed north).

    Jerusalem is the story of the Jews. We all know the story of how after World War II the Jews were given a state in the Middle East and it was on their traditional homeland of Israel. This displaced the Arabs (Palestinians) that were living on the land at the time. Friedman discusses the Utopian vision that Israel is because of the religious context for the Jews. The interesting thing is that Israel was very nearly formed as a secular state for the diaspora Jews, and it was only the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews that initially held onto their religion (rather than their culture). American Jews viewed Israel truly as the Promised Land, and the Christian world saw Israel through the tinted glasses of the Old Testament. Surrounded on all sides by Arabs who do not want the Jews in Israel, the nation has never truly been at peace and it is in this section of the book that Friedman shows just how difficult peace in the region is.

    Washington is the end of the book and Friedman ties several things together. There was a very clear progression from Beirut to Jerusalem as Friedman was transferred over to Jerusalem, but at the same time I felt that Friedman presented enough material that I could begin to understand the context of Jerusalem. Thomas Friedman presents his thoughts on how diplomacy could possibly work for the Israelis and the Palestinians (using the Egypt/Israel peace as a model), and also further explains just how complex the relationships are in the Middle East. We get to see the attempts of the United States to broker peace deals, and how these succeeded and failed, and in some cases, why. Friedman discusses the role the United States does play, and perhaps should play in the region (at least as it affects Israel and Palestine).

    This is an absolutely fascinating book. Obviously, this should be used as a primer on the subject and if one feels interested, should lead into further research into the region, but this was a very informative and interesting book and while I was confused at times by the complexity of the situation and shocked at the enormity of the problem, I also felt that I read a valuable book on the region. I thought this was an excellent book and it should belong on any "must read" list for books on the Middle East.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Frightening Firsthand Of The Middle East Conflict
    Both a personal memoir and treatise on the Middle Eastern conflict, From Beirut To Jerusalem manages to excel in both areas.

    Thomas L. Friedman writes of his years as a reporter in Beirut and Jerusalem (obviously), and the reader walks these streets along with him as he interviews and lives among both leaders and common people. In Beirut, the chaos and lawlessness of daily life is frightening, more scary than any horror novel. In Jerusalem, we see from Friedman's eyes the tension of the Palestinian situation and its effects on both Arabs and Jews.

    What struck me the most, and impressed me, was Friedman's evenhandedness in his observations. He was never quick to place blame.

    I found this book to be an informative treatise on the situation in the Middle East, the best on the subject I have read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST introduction to the middle east
    As one of the first books I read about Middle East, and its
    conflicts, I RECOMMEND this book STRONGLY for everyone: those that
    are new to the region, needing an introduction to the Middle East,
    as well as those who want to refresh their knowledge of the region
    and the various forms of conflict so common there.

    The Middle East can be a confusing place but Friedman sorts it out
    for you. FRIEDMAN IS SUCH A TERRIFIC WRITER he made me feel
    confident in my new found knowledge, relieved to have his insight
    as my foundation, and so wanting to learn more about the entire

    I read "From Beirut to Jerusalem" for the first time just before
    the first Gulf War; now it is my touchstone, reading parts, or
    all of it, again when things over there get crazier.

    While Friedman focuses on Lebanon and Israel in this book, he
    really is providing you with an understanding of the whole
    framework of the Middle East and its conflicts: between countries,
    within countries, amongst religions, between peoples of different
    ethnic, cultural or racial backgrounds.

    Warring religious conflicts within Lebanon may remind you of the
    religious tensions between the Sunnis of northern Iraq and the
    Shi'ia of south. Syria's late Assad's massive killing of his own
    people will immediately remind you of the murder by Saddam Huessin
    of the Kurds in northern Iraq.

    Even if Israel didn't exist, many of these conflicts would have
    happened anyway...and will continue to happen.

    Now the fastest growing portion of the Arab and Muslim populations
    are the school-aged and young adults. Most have limited
    educations and little in the way of meaningful employment to look
    forward to. Is it therefore any surprise some of them are so very
    frustrated, dissatisfied and unhappy they would become militant
    or terrorists.

    Although Israel has done some good things for the peoples of the
    West Bank, it is unfortunately outweighed by the bad its done there and in Gaza.

    And with Israel's peoples being so different than most of the
    Middle East and carrying Mohammed's Qu'ran stories of the Jews'
    friendship and then perceived betrayal of Mohammed over 700 years
    ago, one can see why attacking Israel is a whole lot easier for
    these terrorists than challenging the regimes they live under for
    better opportunities.

    I wish all Americans, at least, would read this book so they
    would be better versed in what happens in the rest of the world.
    This is a GREAT BOOK.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book
    I grew up in Beirut; I found this book very insightful. I can say that this book pretty much reflects what really happened in Beirut. If you want an objective view, this book is a must read. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about what the real situation is like in Palestine and Israel; And what took place in Beirut.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Rambo's analysis
    No matter how "exciting" this book may be to read (and not to base our opinions upon), just like Hollywood's Rambo, where Stalone knows everything about his enemy and overcomes all the problems to finally kill a whole army or nation (where ironically they all happen to be in what is known today as "terrorists") and sells it all around the globe. Friedman thinks he knows it all when it comes to "analysing" the Lebanese crisis and the Israeli socio-religious complexity, while in my opinion reading about the Mideast's history may be helpful, in addition to some classical music knowledge at least to know that Pachelbel's CaNon doesnt include any firing of any caNNon. And by the way, a Canon is the strictest form of imitation in musical composition in which the voices or melodies begin one after another, at regular intervals, successively taking up the same subject. ... Read more

    5. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
    by Queen Noor
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401359485
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
    Publisher: Miramax Books
    Sales Rank: 2715
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

    Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.

    With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist In a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.

    Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love story—the intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people. ... Read more

    Reviews (196)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Glimpse into the Arab World
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!It was fascinating to read about the Middle East conflict from an American woman turned Arab's perspective. It is intriguing how an independent, well-educated, well-connected American woman can move to an Arab country, covert to Islam and live in a society where women are second-class citizens. Having said that, I am very impressed at the role Noor ultimately created, e.g., the programs she developed to help the women in Jordan earn a living through their traditional handicrafts and her speaking engagements in the United States to help raise awareness of the Arab culture.Her background in Urban Planning and architecture also allowed her to play an important role in managing the growth in Jordan effectively.She is an intelligent, articulate and graceful woman who served the King and Jordan admirably.

    The majority of the book is really a tribute to King Hussein and it goes into great detail about his politics and peace negotiations, which was very educational and compelling.Clearly, Noor loved and respected her husband deeply. However, I would have liked to have learned more about Queen Noor, her years as a young woman and her own work which she glosses over quite a bit.

    Keep in mind this is a personal memoir and as such the politics presented are from the Queen's perspective, which I found to be self-serving, or, rather, King serving at times.Not that this is such a bad thing as it is important to try to learn and understandworld politics from other points of view in order to balance out the propaganda that our own government and media feed us.Read this book with an open mind and your view of the Arab world will never be quite the same.

    3-0 out of 5 stars OK if you ignore the politics
    It's a good book about her life, but it gets into indepth details about the politics and the religion of that area of the world. It can get very tedious, and I basically just skimmed most of the book. If you understand politics and all the goings-on of that area of the world, then this book is for you. It's sort of the other side of history as we in the U.S. know it, and it's very biased against the US and Israel. The pictures are great though, and I did cry at the end when the King died.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Ghost-written pap
    The story of Queen Noor's life reads like a romance novel- well, not the usual romance novel, because in this one, the ordinary girl marries the King of a nation created by Western powers in the wake of WWII who manages to survive amidst countries run by murdurous dictators by willingly bowing to the demands of whomever has the largest army at his door. A King whose country subsumed "Arab Palestine" and yet who can pretend to be a defender of the Palestinians.

    Of course that's really of no interest to the readers of this book, who see Queen Noor with the same unjaundiced eye they cast towards the late Princess Diana, another fairy-tale princess- at least in the legend created by her hoarde of press agents and promoters.

    But if a fairy tale is what you're looking for- you'll certainly find it here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book
    I loved this book.I knew next to nothing about Jordan, Lisa Halaby, King Hussein, and the Middle East when I first read this book.I learned so much.I read it several times.

    I particularly appreciated the perspective of an American woman, about my age, who adapted a ready-made family, a culture, a religion, and a country when she married her beloved husband.I think Queen Noor's perspective gives a balanced view of the Middle East and explains much about the differences and similarities in the world we all share.

    I highly recommend this book both as a real life love story and as a mind-opening glimpse into a world very different than our own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars an example to emulate
    Queen Noor writes eloquently as she shares from the heart the solutions to unite humanity through peace, rather than weapons and war.
    I found her courage and heartfelt intentions throughout the book to help raise awareness of the culture she married into, in order to bridge the gap between cultures in the Arab world, that is obviously wide and in dire need of peaceful resolution.

    She is humble and gracious, highly educated and carries her mission to unite with her heart, rather than an ego gain for might and domineering power.
    She is an example to emulate. Her book is an outstanding read.
    ... Read more

    6. Shooter : The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
    by Donald A. Davis, Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312336853
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 20
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    With more than sixty confirmed kills, Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top-ranked sniper. Shooter is his harrowing first-person account of a sniper's life on and off the modern battlefield.
    Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin is a divorced father of two who grew up in a wealthy Boston suburb. At the age of nineteen, although he had never even held a gun, he joined the Marines and would spend the next twenty years behind the scope of a long-range precision rifle as a sniper.
    In that time he accumulated one of the most successful sniper records in the Corps, ranging through many of the world's hotspots. During Operation Iraqi Freedom alone, he recorded at least thirty-six kills, thirteen of them in a single twenty-four-hour period.
    Now Coughlin has written a highly personal story about his deadly craft, taking readers deep inside an invisible society that is off-limits to outsiders. This is not a heroic battlefield memoir, but the careful study of an exceptional man who must keep his sanity while carrying forward one of the deadliest legacies in the U.S. military today.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars One Shot, One Kill
    This is a non stop action filled read with a great human touch. The best book I have read in years about the struggle to keep your mind on killing vice having to live with it.The book focuses primarily on the most recent war in Iraq, but opens with the author's experience in Somalia.I would have liked to have read more about the author's 20 years in the marine corps, but nevertheless, this was a great read.I particularly enjoyed the author's opinions regarding the differences between an urban environment, and a jungle environment.Also, his views on the evolution of the deployment of snipers was very interesting.Finally, this book was a good, first person account of war.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting autobiography and psychological study
    This is a very gripping book by a man who has a rather unusual job. The job he doesis a job that when troops are deployed must be done. It is a job that we collectively as a country sanction. It is an interesting study of one man's mind as he is doing this job. Whether you are hawk or doveit is a book that should be read as it more about human psychology than it is about war.
    Of courseby saying this I do not mean to say that the book is devoid of history as it is chock full of it.
    It is also not just about killing but about skill and what it means to be skilled at something.
    If you give this book a chance it will get you thinking.
    A very challengingand multileveled book that is not so easy to dismiss (as much as many would perhaps like). It is very much worthy of your attention.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Shooter for real
    The name is Hathcock, Carlos Hathcock, not Hackworth. Yes he was an increbible shot, probably the best ever, but give this man his due, especially if you've never put on a uniform, stared down the barrel at another man and ended that man's life. The equipment is a moot point, it's more about the emotion,character, and everything else involved in making that shot, and the consequences good or bad.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!
    Shooter is an excellent book, filled with plenty of real world action, but that is not the strength of it. Shooter puts you into the mind of the sniper, as you attempt to understand the conflict of emotion a sniper endures. When reading through the book, you often have to stop, and remind yourself, that this book is written by real people describing actual events, not some fiction tale typed up by someone who hasn't "been there". If you want to truly understand the combat environment, and not read a list of chronological events, or the distorted views of sideline observers, read Shooter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling true story
    While reading this book you feel like your looking through the scope of Gunny Coughlins sniper rifle. He brings you into the highs and lows of todays battlefield. Gunny Coughlins experience as a Marine sniper is his own not Gunny Hackworths or any other
    sniper. I'm sure Gunny Coughlin has the utmost respect for his craft and all other snipers who came before him and all to come in the future. To give a bad review because of advancements in weapon technology is to show disrespect to the craft and to the marine sniper and Gunny Coughlin. Semper Fi. ... Read more

    7. Against the Odds: Riding for My Life
    by JerryBailey
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399152733
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
    Publisher: Putnam Adult
    Sales Rank: 5374
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A remarkable narrative of failure and redemption, the fiercely candid autobiography of the world's greatest jockey, depicting not only the intenseinside story of professional racing but his greatest victory of all-against himself.

    I had hit bottom. My descent into alcoholism had been slow, but now I was lying at the bottom of the ocean, searching for a ray of light. I needed to breathe again. I needed to live again. . . . It was up to me.

    He is considered the leading rider of his era, one of the greatest jockeys ever to break from the starting gate. He has won every major race there is, and then won it again; set earnings and stakes records; and entered the Racing Hall of Fame. But none of it was possible until he defeated his demons.

    Astonishingly frank and vividly detailed, Against the Odds chronicles the making of both a man and a champion: the years of drinking, cruelty, anger, despair; the moment of truth, with the help of his wife, Suzee; the dramatic rise to the top. It takes us into the racing world as only someone who has lived it can-the joys and dangers, the adrenaline highs and controversies, from the stables to the stretch drive. It is a new classic of the literature.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Formula Here
    This isn't the story of a great jockey. That would be pretty formula. This is the story of a jockey who somehow beat the odds to achieve greatness. That's what makes it a great book. Somewhat like "My Fractured Life", "It's Not About the Bike" and "The Secret Life of Bees", this is an amazing story that celebrates the flawed heroes among us and takes the reader's emotions for a ride that few have experienced and you can't help celebrating.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great to the Finish
    There are two books that I had been hearing a lot about and so I ordered them. One of those books was Against the Odds by Jerry Bailey. The other book was My Fractured Life by Rikki Lee Travolta. Of the two, My Fractured Life immediately jumped to the lead in the race of favorites. Against the Odds is a strong contender in its own right though and ran a strong second. It has strength of spirit and courage over addiction that makes it lift off the page. It was a nice Perfecta of weekend reading. Other recent considerations included Simon Lazarus, Nightmares Echo, Mermaid Chair, The Glass Castle, and Smashed. ... Read more

    8. Understanding Iraq: The Whole Sweep of Iraqi History from Genghis Khan's Mongols to the Ottoman Turks to the British Mandate to the American Occupation
    by William R. Polk
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060764686
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 16141
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Lacking too much vital info on Saddam and Bush
    This book on Iraq by author Polk never mentions that in 1994 Saddam tried again to take over Kuwait but the USA stopped him. This book wrongly makes it sound as if Saddam completely behaved himself in 1991 on after the Gulf War ended early that year. Also, the book never mentions how George W. Bush gave Iraq the chance to surrender in 2003 before finally invading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and Concise
    In 200 pages and six chapters (Ancient Iraq,Islamic Iraq, British Iraq, Revolutionary Iraq, American Iraq, Whose Iraq?) Polk privides a historical perspective for today's events.Inow understand something about the history of the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds.I did not know that Kuwait was cleaved out of Iraq by the British to deny other colonial powers access to India via the Persian Gulf.I did not understand what motivated Americas relationship with Sadam prior to 1991.I did not know anything about the British occupation of Iraq before and after WWI.

    Polk writes clearly and concisely.Polk says that if history is a good teacher, the longer we stay in Iraq the worse it will be for the Iraqis and for we Americans both in Iraq and at home.Polk may have an axe to grind.I don't know enough about Iraq to tell.If he does, he isn't obvious about it.If he does have an axe to grind, then someone needs to write the book America in Iraq - Why this time will be different. ... Read more

    9. Inside the Kingdom : My Life in Saudi Arabia
    by Carmen Bin Ladin
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446577081
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-14)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 2899
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Osama bin Laden's formersister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually inti- mate look into Saudi soci-ety and the bin Laden family's role within it, aswell as the treatment of Saudi women.On September 11th, 2001,Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her ex-brother-in-law was involved in these hor-rifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again.Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, married into-and later divorced from-the bin Laden family and found herself inside a complex and vast clan, part of a society that she neither knew nor understood. Her story takes us inside the bin Laden family and one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressed kingdoms in the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars answers many questions
    Have you ever wondered how on earth a Western woman could marry a man from a culture that is totally alien to hers? In Inside the Kingdom, Carmen Bin Laden tells the story of how she went from being a free spirited Swiss schoolgirl to the wife of one of the members of the Saudi Arabian Bin Laden clan. It was easy. She was young, he was charming, handsome, rich and seemingly easy going. They fell in love. She thought they were going to live in America and Europe. She was wrong.

    Imagine living in a place where it's against the law for you to show your face in public. Imagine not being able to go shopping even for your own clothes or personal items. Imagine shocking your in-laws becuase you want to go for a walk.

    One of the most vivid and sad scenes from the book describes how Carmen's husband had to make special arrangements in order for her to go to a grocery store to buy baby formula. While she rushed to the baby section the customers (all male) left the store and the staff turned their backs to her.

    Carmen quickly discovered to her horror that listening to music was considered sinful, reading books was considered odd and having a thought in one's pretty head was seen as completely unnatural.

    Eventually, the marriage soured and Carmen decided to leave Saudi for the sake of her daughters. The book will attract attention of course because of the author's infamous brother-in-law, Osama (he was apparently a foreboding figure even as a young man) but it's more than a tragi-comic look into the Bin Laden home. This book is a clear eyed look at Saudi life.

    Carmen Bin Laden went to Saudi thinking that modernity would prevail and that in a few years Saudi women would have more rights. She was wrong then and things don't look any better now. Since Saudi Arabia is ostensibly an American ally taking an honest look at it makes sense. Can such a culture really change? Are we fools to it expect to?

    Inside the Kingdom is a very good book.I'm glad I bought it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for all women
    Normally I don't read biographies. Usually they focus on rags to riches stories that I can't relate to. This book was the exception.
    This bio starts normally: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married. But this is where the normality ends. Carmen marries into the Bin Ladin family,which back then were not synominous with terrorism. Carmen, who is foreign to Saudi life, is forced to live in isolation. She cannot come and go as she pleases without being completly veiled. She is forced to live in a world where women are property of the men; she is viewed as a foreigner by the other women because she was not born Saudi. Women,imagine going in a time machine from 2004 to the mid 19th century. At least that is the closest analogy I can think of.
    This book made me appreciate the simple freedoms that we Americans take advantage of. I couldn't imagine living a life where I felt so powerless as a woman. I admire Carmen for being strong enough to get away from Saudi Arabia once and for all. Every female should read this book. It is an eye opener how far we women have come in America. ... Read more

    10. A Pretext for War : 9/11, Iraq, and theAbuse of America's Intelligence Agencies
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 140003034X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 6928
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    James Bamford builds his case against America's intelligence agencies from the ground up, which makes for devastating reading not only for his subjects, but for anyone concerned with the nation's security or simply smart use of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, one can't help but cringe as the veteran journalist records the alarming post-Cold War floundering of the C.I.A., N.S.A., Defense Department, and succeeding administrations in the face of burgeoning terrorist threats that culminate with the attack on 9-11. Seemingly caught flatfooted by the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. intelligence community stumbles through the 1990s as it becomes institutionally hidebound and sluggish. During relatively peaceful times, its shortcomings, while not unnoticed, remain largely unaddressed. As Bamford sees it, with the arrival of George W. Bush, the situation goes from bad to worse. With the neocons in power, intelligence gathering is corrupted and politicized to create the grounds for going to war with Iraq. While much of what appears here has appeared earlier in works by Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke, and others, Bamford pulls the loose ends together and adds new reporting to create a wide-ranging yet taut and absorbing expose of an American security apparatus that combines vast power with stunning ineptitude. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (53)

    5-0 out of 5 stars frightening book
    After reading this book, I was in a state of shock. I knew that the US government was infiltrated by foreign advocates, but the extent of this penetration, as described in this book, was truly shocking. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this takeover to be so pervasive. America wake up before it is too late. My heart goes out to all the brave service men and women who have died and been grievously wounded in Iraq for the interests of the neocons and their warped agendas. The United States has been hijacked by these evil people. But unfortunately your president is too stupid to realize this. For all followers of the current situation, this book is a must read. FIVE STARS

    5-0 out of 5 stars Taking Names
    This was the last book on my two week vacation reading list..wish I had read it long ago. I could have saved myself a lot of independent research time.
    Bamford does repeat himself somewhat but the way he covers theall the various players and events involved from 911 to Iraq and strings them together makes the book worthwhile.
    It is true a lot of what he covers was already out there but the details he includes makes the information all the more startling.
    A lot of good blow by blow reviews have already been given so I would only add my personal reaction to the book..which is that we Americans have 1,550 dead and 12,000 wounded reasons to see to it that the entire Cheney cult chickenhawks and Feith, Perle, Wolfowitz, Wurmser, the OSP boys and Israeli firsters end up hanging from some gallows on the mall or sent to prison for treason.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prescient
    I just finished "A Pretext for War" the same day the defanged Senatorial Commission issued its "Dead Wrong" assessment.

    Everything in the Senate's report was in Bamford's book, but in greater detail.

    I urge you to read it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting View !
    "Pretext for war" is armed with well known facts and interesting details.
    This book has a great title, but with no new discoveries and no smoking gun. Mr. Bamford's book makes a very entertaining reading......

    4-0 out of 5 stars Neo-Conned Into A War
    Divided into two main themes, 9/11 intelligence failure and the dangerously deceptive NEO-CONS, Pretext For War provides a disturbing account of how easy it has become for the NEO-CONS to manipulate and deceive the American public. They were successful in fooling the public, at least some of them.

    Bamford describes how ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell was trampled over and taken advantage of. It is a shame the NEO-CONS were able to hack away and forever tarnish the man's credibility. Powell now looks like a complete clown when one views the fatal UN presentation he made, showcasing non-existed mobile bio labs.

    What is even worse is that the NEO-CONS have destroyed America's credibility and deceived it's citizens for their own twisted, dangerous militant ideology. ... Read more

    11. Crusades Through Arab Eyes
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805208984
    Catlog: Book (1989-04-29)
    Publisher: Schocken
    Sales Rank: 8589
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The author has combed the works of contemporary Arab chronicles of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants. He retells their story and offers insights into the historical forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today. ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reads like a novel
    Some reviewers criticize this book as not being objective but it was never meant to be. This book is an attempt to approach the crusades from an Arab perspective by relying on Arab historians of the period. Maalouf does a magnificent job at making a historical narrative very entertaining and easy to read.
    Maalouf, a Christian Lebanese who grew up in a country torn by religious war, presents a vivid desciption of the horrors of the Crusades.
    This book is very useful to understanding the Middle East today in its relationship with the West.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, A Tale Told Well
    The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf (translated by Jon Rothschild) is a fascinating look at the familiar story of the Crusades in an unfamiliar way (for the vast majority of Western readers). The author manages to use the various Arab chroniclers and the, at times, complicated story they tell and turn it into a coherent, interesting, rich story of a people who watch as a mysterious invasion takes place and they first learn to deal with these strange invaders and later to expel them. This book will be of interest to those not completely familiar with European versions of the Crusades but for those who have read or studied the Crusades in other books this will be a truly dazzling eye-opener. An important book and an intersting read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In response to attacks on 'objectivity'...
    The arguments against this book are surprisingly vehement, but they seem to ignore one very large and glaring detail about it: the title. This book is not meant to paint an objective, all-encompassing view of the struggle between Islam and Christianity from the eighth-century onward. It is merely painting a picture of contemporary responses to the Crusades in the Muslim world of the time. Does it endorse them? No. Does it use them on some kind of attack of Christianity? No. As was stated before, the author is a Christian. So that little attack collapses rather easily, doesn't it?

    We have a wealth of information the Christian response to Islam's rise. Look at the thousands upon thousands of volumes on Byzantium, the Papacy, and the Frankish Empire. In fact, we're so used to having the picture painted as 'evil Islam attacks defenseless Europe' that the Crusades almost axiomatically become 'justice' rather than what they were, which was an exercise in barbarity. And that isn't just barbarity against Muslims. It was barbarity against EVERYONE different. Crusaders murdered countless numbers of Jewish people on their march to the east, and even eventually ended up sacking and destroying the Orthodox Byzantine Empire in 1204 (Fourth Crusade). At the behest of the scheming Venetians, no less, who wanted a Latin Emperor. Muslim civilization counted among its strong points an extremely refined and advanced culture that was shocked by the unbelievable animal cruelty of the Crusaders. I am not attacking Christianity nor defending the invasions of Islam into Europe. But it is hardly fair to compare the Muslim rule in Spain, which was one of the most advanced and tolerant nations on the face of the planet, with the butchery of the Crusades.

    A glance at the title tells us where the strength of the book lies. It shows us what it felt to be Muslim during the Crusaders. It gives us the same breadth of knowledge and then provides the corresponding reaction. I thought it was incredible, and for anyone who isn't stuck in a mindless, self-righteous arrogance that has to paint Islam as evil, I highly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
    This book is well described by its title. Amin Maalouf provides the historical perspective of the Crusades from the point of view of Arabs. Maalouf begins with the arrival of the Franj ("a word which is used in colloquial Arabic even today to designate Westerners, and the French in particular") and chronicles the conflict, ending with the conflict with the Mongols.
    Maalouf utilizes the perspective of Arab historians of the day in order to give the book a high degree of legitimacy. This analysis based of primary sources is the reason that I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history, and of course anyone who wishes to fully understand the Crusades.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To understand the crusades - know both sides
    After reading four books on the crusades, and feeling exhausted on the subject, I read this book and not only was it good in its own right, but it pieced together many of the other books I read. I wouldsuggest reading this after you have read at least one book on the crusades. ... Read more

    12. Silent Images : Women in Pharaonic Egypt
    by Zahi Hawass
    list price: $49.50
    our price: $49.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0810944782
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Harry N Abrams
    Sales Rank: 460411
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pharahonic women....
    I have read this book and I think it is one of the greatest piece of explain everything you need to know about women in those's completed very well illustrated and the price compensate the's worth's great! ... Read more

    13. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of The CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet
    by Steve Coll
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0143034669
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 17396
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    14. Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces
    by Linda Robinson
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $16.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586482491
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    Sales Rank: 515
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    Book Description

    A journalist with unique access tells the gripping, never-before-told, inside story of America's elite troops in action -- from the nadir of their reputation after Vietnam to their preeminence today on the frontlines against terrorism around the world.

    Special Forces soldiers are daring, seasoned troops from America's heartland, selected in a tough competition and trained in an extraordinary range of skills. They know foreign languages and cultures and unconventional warfare better than any U.S. fighters, and while they prefer to stay out of the limelight, veteran war correspondent Linda Robinson gained access to their closed world. She traveled with them on the frontlines, interviewed them at length on their home bases, and studied their doctrine, methods and history. In Masters of Chaos she tells their story through a select group of senior sergeants and field-grade officers, a band of unforgettable characters like Rawhide, Killer, Michael T, and Alan -- led by the unflappable Lt. Col. Chris Conner and Col. Charlie Cleveland, a brilliant but self-effacing West Pointer who led the largest unconventional war campaign since Vietnam in northern Iraq.

    Robinson follows the Special Forces from their first post-Vietnam combat in Panama, El Salvador, Desert Storm, Somalia, and the Balkans to their recent trials and triumphs in Afghanistan and Iraq. She witnessed their secret sleuthing and unsung successes in southern Iraq, and recounts here for the first time the dramatic firefights of the western desert. Her blow-by-blow story of the attack on Ansar al-Islam's international terrorist training camp has never been told before. The most comprehensive account ever of the modern-day Special Forces in action, Masters of Chaos is filled with riveting, intimate detail in the words of a close-knit band of soldiers who have done it all. AUTHOR BIO: Linda Robinson is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2000-2001 and in 1999 she received the Maria Moors Cabot prize form Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She has covered numerous wars, guerrilla conflicts and special forces operations, and currently lives in Washington, D.C. ... Read more

    15. Among Warriors in Iraq : True Grit, Special Ops, and Lock-and-Load Raiding in Mosul and Fallujah
    by Mike Tucker
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1592287328
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: The Lyons Press
    Sales Rank: 621247
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    Book Description

    Eight months after George W. Bush proclaimed major combat in Iraq over in 2003, author Mike Tucker found himself right in the thick of it--dirty, profane, violent, lethal, and daily major combat--with some of America’s most highly trained and accomplished soldiers.

    Among Warriors in Iraq is a street-level view of the struggles of maintaining control in the anarchy that pervaded Iraq after Coalition forces declared victory. Tucker journeyed--and fought--with Special Forces groups in both Mosul and Fallujah, cities unconvinced the war was over, and willing to do anything to ensure that the struggle would continue.

    Here is his frank and adrenaline-soaked account, seen through the resilient eyes of the soldiers willing to pay the ultimate price for victory.
    ... Read more

    16. A History of the Modern Middle East
    by William L. Cleveland
    list price: $51.00
    our price: $38.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0813334896
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: Westview Press
    Sales Rank: 196494
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A student taking modern middle history
    The first thing that might come to a student's mind with a history textbook would be the words: tedious, dull and unexciting. And do not worry because Cleveland possesses none of these negative qualities. Cleveland covers every topic on the modern Middle East to Oslo agreements and Muhammad Ali in Egypt. The book explains the history of a foreign culture and region that many people do not understand and he writes it in an easy to read format. I promise that it will not be the most exciting book in the world to read, but it will offer you knowledge on the Middle East that only a few actually understand and know. I am a history major at Indiana State University and took a course on modern Middle Eastern history taught by Robert Hunter that wrote "The Palestinian Uprising: A War by Other Means."

    I considered Cleveland's textbook on the Modern Middle East a great source of history. After reading this book, I guarantee that you will better understand the present-day crisis in the Middle East than over ninety-five percent of the people in the United States.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent background reading for all Americans
    The Middle East is such a multi-faced region with such a rich historical legacy that even people who strive to be well-informed cannot help but feel bewildered at its cultural, political, and religious complexity. Given the blustering aggressiveness of the post-September 11 U.S. policy toward the region, however, Americans owe it to themselves to become far more familiar with the complexities of the Middle East than has been our wont up to now.

    Popular magazine articles that attempt to "explain" Islamic rage as the result of a "fear of modernity" or "jealousy of the west's freedoms" may as well bear a stamp proclaiming their authorship by the "Ministry of Propaganda." As an alternative, I recommend Professor Cleveland's textbook, which serves as a brief but remarkably thorough introduction to the history of this volatile part of the world.

    No, the book does not cover Afghanistan or Pakistan, but clearly political currents in these nations are closely linked with what has transpired in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and the rest of the Middle East proper. At the heart of the current crisis is, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian condundrum, and here the author's explanations and analyses are clear, balanced, and incisive. His discussions of the evolution of Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the background *and consequences* of the 1991 Gulf War are also invaluable. In his recounting of the Iranian revolution, Cleveland offers a fascinating analysis of the apparent Islamicist rejection of "modernity," showing that those in the Middle East who reject the West do not crave a return to the ancient past, but instead wish to follow a modernization pathway that is guided by indigenous cultural principles, including the precepts of Islam.

    Perhaps most impressive, however, is what Cleveland has to say toward the end of the book regarding the dangers of an overly intrusive and domineering presence in the Islamic Middle East by the lone remaining planetary superpower, the U.S. He does not prophesy the recent terrorism that has afflicted this country, but he does criticize the U.S. for policies that seem to rely more upon aerial bombardment than careful diplomacy. The application of Cleveland's conclusions to a reevaluation of the likely long-term consequences of "America's new war" is not a comforting process, but it's one that perhaps more Americans need to undertake.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not for the person totally unfamilar with Middle East
    It is with some reluctance that I offer this review. It is meant only as constructive criticism of a book written by an extremely knowledgeable author. I think this book would be great as a textbook for a formal class or for someone already somewhat familiar with the history and geography of the region. However, I started with neither. I only had only the desire to learn the background of a region that figures prominently in today's events. For me, the book delved into too much detail, the author describing all the intricacies of each transition of influence and power. There was more detail than I could comprehend outside of a classroom environment.

    If I could put the rest of my life on hold and go into study mode, perhaps I could absorb more. In my opinion, this is one of those books where the author is so intimately familiar with the material that he forgets just how ignorant the reader may be. I also thought the book contained far too few maps. I finally purchased some additional maps but with all the boundary and name changes, maps are required much more frequently to illustrate what is occurring.

    I carried this book with me for a year trying to get through it. I had to force myself to read it and I never did complete it. I have now ordered another book that I hope will be easier reading.

    I did learn many things from the portion of the book I read and I have a vague Idea what happened from the beginning of Islam through the period prior to World War 1. However, that is where I finally gave up.

    I am not saying this is a bad book. In the right hands, I think it would be a wonderful book. That said, I believe the book is not for people looking for background that cannot study it as a textbook. The target audience of this book may not be people such as myself and I may have selected a totally inappropriate text.

    There are many aspects of the history of the Middle East that do not lend themselves to easy reading. However, some authors can make history live, for nothing is as interesting as history. No novel can spin a wilder tale than history itself. This book just did not make history live for me. I will save it and perhaps one day when I have more background, I will read it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
    The beauty of this book lies in Cleveland's ability to link the events of each country in the Middle East's to one another. The book does not break each country into its own exclusive section like an elementary text book for simpletons, but rather into different eras and side by side with its neighboring states to demonstrate how revolutions, ideological shifts, economic policies, foreign alliances, etc. impacted one another. Another strength is Cleveland's willingness to show the West's often [bad] role in and the destruction the wake their imperialism left. It essentially gives you everything you need to know to have legitimate convictions on the current state of the ME.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why don't we know this?
    I have lived in the Middle East for several years. This book is by far the BEST I have ever read at explaining "why" to many of the problems that we face today. It is not a cheerful book to read, in fact it almost makes one ashamed. It definitely made me ask "why is it that so very few people in the United States have NO clue as to the history in this part of the world?" This is a book that should be read by politicans and those in the news media. It is incredible that with all the news coverage since 9/11 that there has been so little attempt to learn, understand, and accept responsibility for the shameful and self-serving roles that Britian, France, and the United States have historically played and continue to play in molding this part of the world to fit the needs of the west. This book should be required reading for President Bush and his staff. At the same time I wish those at CNN, FOX, and the other news organizations would read the book as well. How can we call ourselves a "free country" when we don't take responsibility or are even taught about our role and motives in the history of this part of the world? We ARE a great country, but I am appalled that so many Americans (my friends and family included) could be in favor of a war without even the slightest understanding of OUR role in creating much of the current mess. I will "require" this book as reading for any of my friends and family who want to discuss the issues of this part of the world. It's a shame that I can't require it to those in the news media and government. The lack of historical understanding by the American population is truly frightening. If you can only read one book about the Middle East, this is the book to read. If you can read two, then read Thomas Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem" as well. It is very rare to find balanced/honest accounts of Middle East history. Why? ... Read more

    17. Jesus & the Forgotten City: New Light on Sepphoris and the Urban World of Jesus
    by Richard A. Batey
    list price: $64.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0801010160
    Catlog: Book (1992-02-01)
    Publisher: Baker Pub Group
    Sales Rank: 504002
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    18. War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom (with DVD)
    by Oliver North
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0895260638
    Catlog: Book (2003-11)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing
    Sales Rank: 3804
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Fresh from his tour in Iraq embedded with the First Marine Expeditionary Force and later the Army's Fourth Infantry Division, bestselling author Oliver North reports in living detail the real story of Operation Iraqi Freedom. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Get past the partisan politics and its a good book!
    First and foremost Oliver North has strong political convictions. Whether you agree with his politics or not, is your own personal business. But buyer beware, his politics is a part of this book.

    Now, if you can look beyond his politics, again whether you agree or disagree, this is a great first hand look at the War in Iraq and a look at being an embedded reporter during this war.

    Again, politics aside, this is a great primary source reading on both the war and the media coverage of the war.

    North brings a lot of military experience into his reporting and that is an added plus.

    The DVD that comes with the book is fantastic. However, I warn all readers that they should read the book before watching the DVD. The DVD covers much of the same material in the book, and you will find both the book and DVD more enjoyable if you read before you watch.

    Again, get over, accept, ignore, North's politics and you have a great book/DVD primary source of the second war in Iraq.

    This book shows how brave our military is!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A well-deserved salute to the protectors of freedom
    With all of the negative gloom-and-doom pessimism of the liberal media, War Stories proves to be a veritable fresh breath of air that salutes the commendable bravery and courage of our men and women protecting our freedom both home and abroad. With the likes of Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather incessantly ballyhooing about the daunting "quagmire" in Iraq like a broken record, Col. Oliver North provides an - get this - honest account of what REALLY transpired during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    In an impromptu interview with two grunts of the 4th ID, North, in an attempt to ascertain the truth and to dispel the unfounded rumors of an ill-prepared and ill-equipped US military, asked the soldiers: "The New York Times says the Marines are out of food, water, and ammo. Are you hungry?"
    "No, sir."
    "Are you thirsty?"
    "No, sir."
    "Are you short on ammo?"
    "No, sir."
    "Well, what do you need?"
    'Without a moment's hesitation, the young Marine replies, "Just send more enemy, sir."'

    Suffice to say, you won't find that on your network evening news or in The New York Times. North gives us not only unbiased accounts from foot soldiers, but also great previously unseen footage from Operation Iraqi Freedom on the enclosed DVD. With the book and the DVD, how can you go wrong?

    5-0 out of 5 stars How things have changed
    Being a combat veteran of an earlier era I found Col. North's book a fascinating read on how warfare is waged in this new age of high tech and high media exposure. Unlike steril fact books, this gives you the perspective of the infantrymen who are on the ground, dealing with it every day. I have handed this book off to several of my buddies, who have also been "out of the loop" for a number of years, telling them it's good look at how things REALLY were in Iraq vs. the tainted picture portrayed by the media.

    I have not always been a big fan of Col. North's but know first-hand that he will tell it like it is, regardless of how unpopular his message may be. That, in my view, makes him a credible and valuable author, and this, a valuable testament to the men and women serving us in Iraq.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Soldier's Story
    Oliver North's "War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom" is a straightforward and compelling view into the Iraqi war as told through the eyes and voices of the young American's who were fighting it. This is as refreshingly-far from the armchair generals and TV talking-head analysts as one can get, providing unique insight into what was happening as seen by North while embedded with the Marines as they fought their way from Kuwait to Baghdad to Tikrit in March-April, 2003. Told in a series of vignettes - "sitreps" in mil-speak" - Retired Marine Colonel North relates the story as he sees it, depending more on the perspective of the enlisted men than of the senior officers of his unit. North captures the details of day-to-day life in desert, where sacrifices are routine and acts of heroism common and mostly unsung. He delivers these tales with straight prose and clinical precision, resisting any temptation to sensationalize or to evoke pity. It is an honest and unvarnished view of the Iraq war, at least as seen through the rather narrow sights of the unit with which North traveled. (In fact, as North notes frequently, he and he troops on the ground had scant insight to the progress of the war in the "big picture". An occasional opportunity to catch a Fox News transmission were their best sources of intelligence).

    It is unfortunate that some will dismiss or disparage this fine documentary simply because they disagree with Oliver North's political views. I happen to believe that Colonel North is an inspiration and a great American, but notwithstanding, "War Stories" is a powerful first-hand portrayal of one of the most important historical events of our time. If not for North, then read it as a tribute to our young volunteer armed forces who have sacrificed so much.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book from a Great Man
    Colonel North recently visited my hometown to complete a segment of War Stories. I did not get to meet him but everyone who did felt he was the nicest and humblest person they had met. I look forward to reading the book but feel I should give it five stars just based on his personal merit. ... Read more

    19. The First Crusade: A New History
    by Thomas Asbridge
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195178238
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-28)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 3188
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    Book Description

    On the last Tuesday of November 1095, Pope Urban II delivered an electrifying speech that launched the First Crusade. His words set Christendom afire. Some 100,000 men, from knights to paupers, took up the call--the largest mobilization of manpower since the fall of the Roman Empire. Now, in The First Crusade, Thomas Asbridge offers a gripping account of a titanic three-year adventure filled with miraculous victories, greedy princes and barbarity on a vast scale. Readers follow the crusaders from their mobilization in Europe (where great waves of anti-Semitism resulted in the deaths of thousands of Jews), to their arrival in Constantinople, an exotic, opulent city--ten times the size of any city in Europe--that bedazzled the Europeans. Featured in vivid detail are the siege of Nicaea and the pivotal battle for Antioch, the single most important military engagement of the entire expedition, where the crusaders, in desperate straits, routed a larger and better-equipped Muslim army. Through all this, the crusaders were driven on by intense religious devotion, convinced that their struggle would earn them the reward of eternal paradise in Heaven. But when a hardened core finally reached Jerusalem in 1099 they unleashed an unholy wave of brutality, slaughtering thousands of Muslims--men, women, and children--all in the name of Christianity. The First Crusade marked a watershed in relations between Islam and the West, a conflict that set these two world religions on a course toward deep-seated animosity and enduring enmity. The chilling reverberations of this earth-shattering clash still echo in the world today. ... Read more

    20. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
    by David Fromkin
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805068848
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
    Publisher: Owl Books
    Sales Rank: 2110
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling account of how the modern Middle East came into being after World War I, and why it is in upheaval today

    In our time the Middle East has proven a battleground of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and dynasties.All of these conflicts, including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis that have flared yet again, come down, in a sense, to the extent to which the Middle East will continue to live with its political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed upon the region by the Allies after the First World War.

    In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies came to remake the geography and politics of the Middle East, drawing lines on an empty map that eventually became the new countries of Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all-even an alliance between Arab nationalism and Zionism-seemed possible he raises questions about what might have been done differently, and answers questions about why things were done as they were.The current battle for a Palestinian homeland has its roots in these events of 85 years ago.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent perspective on this period- Highly recommended!
    For those that are interested in the events surrounding WWI and its aftermath, this book is an incredible resource for gaining a wider understanding the events that led to the sometimes coincidental developments that continue to have repurcussions today. Particulary interesting is the developments leading up to the Sykes-Picot agreement that pretty much arbitrarily divided up the Middle East between France and Britain; the Balfour Declaration and the conflicting ideas many leaders at the world stage at that time had about their intentions therein; placement of the different regimes in artificially created states in the Middle East; and the often conflicting views and actions of officials on the ground and politicians back home, most of whom did not have an accurate grasp of the real situation.

    Particularly interesting is the section on Iraq, where some note the difficulties of forcing together a country of Shiis, Sunnis and Kurds, and to be ruled by a Christian, hasn't anyone in a decision making position today read their history?! I recommend this book to leaders dealing today with the Middle East.

    Also very impressive is the strength of Mustapha Kemal and the Turks in saving their country from total occupation, an endless array of fights going on for many years, while at the same time fighting internally with the small groups loyal to the corrupt, west-loving sultan. His accomplishment, when viewed within the wider context of how hopeless their situation seemed at the outset, their success in creating a new country out of the remains of a partitioned, ruined, exhausted empire is incredibly impressive, he is a rare leader in world history who has accomplished true greatness, and the Turks are right in revering him so.

    Overall, though the details can get to be so many that one can lose focus of the main events (they are very interesting nonetheless), this is an excellent source for understanding the interaction between the Allies during a very turbulent period, and many mistaken beliefs that led to wrong policies, repurcussions of which are still held today. It's a fascinating read given the current situation in Iraq, Israel and Palestine today. Fromkin has researched the period thoroughly, refutes commonly held beliefs about the period, and leaves the reader with a sense of awe at the fascinating interactions between the various actors on the stage. I would recommend it to those who have some basic knowledge of the period, this is not a textbook of learning the basics, but an excellent source of enriching one's knowledge that helps to understand similar intricacies in international relations that go on today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
    "A Peace to End All Peace" is a book to end all books on the middle east.

    The book studies the formation of the modern middle east-and the crumbling of the former Ottoman Empire-from the period 1914-1922. At the onset of this time, Britain ruled the world, the Czar ran Russia, and the US was just an up and comer. At the end of this period, Britain's imperial ambitions were waning, Russia was now the Soviet Union, and the US had demonstrated its power through its presence in WW I.

    Through the careful research and well thought-out text, the reader can see how the modern day nations of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey were formed. You can see also see how their modern day troubles were created. It's all here: the beginning of Jewish-Arab troubles in Palestine, the shaky start to Iraq, the careless partioning of Lebanon and so on.

    Many thing impressed me about this book but perhaps none more than the role that bad intelligence played in the formation of Britain's foreign policy. I know: it's unbelievably relevant in the world of 2004 also! However, Britain made a number of decisions throughout World WAr I and after based on information and analyses that were simply untrue. While much has changed since then in terms of the transmitting of information, still the problems of the gathering of critical intelligence one-to-one remains.

    I would recommend this book to just about anyone who cares (or who should care) about Middle East politics. Before you voice your next opinion on American intervention in Iraq, you might want to read this book to sharpen your insights and arguments.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read this now! It could all happen again!
    It's a bit spooky to read this account of events in the Middle East during the decade that bracketed World War, while the occupation and rebuilding of post-Saddam Iraq is unfolding. The parallels (both good and not-so-good) are fascinating, almost to the point where one could substitute current names like Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleeza Rice for Lord Kitchener, Lord Asquith and Sir Mark Sykes.

    More than one scholar has suggested that this work from David Fromkin is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the roots of the politics and current animosities of the Middle East. I'm no scholar, but I can't imagine another source that could provide a better accounts of the events and personalities from 90 years ago that have shaped (and often misshaped) the most problematic region of the world. The movie "Lawrence of Arabia" may have been cinema at it's best. But it was also history at it's most trivial. This is the real history, laced with context and the full implications of each development.

    Fromkin relates in fascinating detail the various acts of hubris, misdirection, treachery, imperialism, nation building, cowardice and more that shaped the arbitrary borders and ruling classes of today's Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Israel. From the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire to the early leaders of Zionism, each player in this vast geopolitical game comes under the author's critical eye. And Fromkin is impartial with both his praise and his criticism. While his portrait of Winston Churchill tosses body blow or two to Sir Winston's image, it also establishes a firm foundation for those that regard Churchill as one of the most dominate and influential leaders of the twentieth century.

    Knowledge of the mistakes in the past is no guarantee that future mistakes will not occur, but it does help to avoid a repeat of past errors. This book should be required reading for any American, particularly our current leadership!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - simply the best
    The previous reviewer is, alas, the one spouting the nonesense! Israel only exists because of the decisions of Lloyd George and Churchill in 1918-1921: the creation of Israel in 1948 was the cumulation of a process that began with the British capture of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire in 1917, as Fromkin's book brilliantly and conclusively shows. Christopher Catherwood, author of CHURCHILL'S FOLLY: HOW WINSTON CHURCHILL CREATED IRAQ (Carroll and Graf, 2004)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Utter nonsense
    This book perpetuates the myth that the present mess in the the Middle East was caused by a bunch of confused, incompetent European statemen who, after World War I, allowed those pesky Arabs to govern themselves. It completely ignores the obvious truth that the present mess in the Middle East was caused by confused and incompetent European and American statesmen after World War II who thought a Jewish state surrounded by displaced Arabs was a good idea. David Fromkin and others dedicate their lives to obscuring that self evident truth. ... Read more

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