Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East

Patrick Seale, Author University of California Press $40 (552p) ISBN 978-0-520-06667-0
British journalist Seale ( The Struggle for Syria ) here fashions a political portrait of President Hafiz al-Asad that emphasizes his patience, caution and courage without obscuring his conspiratorial past or his selective ruthlessness. He describes Asad's rise from peasant origins to national leadership in a bloodless coup, analyzes the view from Damascus of Syria's role in the wars with Israel and Asad's continuing efforts to block piecemeal settlements with Israel by other Arab countries. Double-crossed, according to Seale, by his Egyptian partner Anwar Sadat during the 1973 October War, Asad was then ``duped'' by Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy and ``robbed'' of the fruits of the war. Asad is quoted as claiming that his goal is not Syrian supremacy but a balance of power, and that a fair peace will come about only when the Arabs achieve strategic parity with the Jewish state. An admiring but not uncritical biography of Israel's most dangerous enemy, this book sheds light on an enigmatic leader. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-520-06976-3
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 576 pages - 978-0-520-91008-9
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