Innocent Abroad: An Intimate History of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East
Martin Indyk, . . Simon & Schuster, $28 (512pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-9429-1
Missteps and missed opportunities proliferate in this gripping insider history of Middle Eastern diplomacy during the Clinton administration. Indyk, former ambassador to Israel, examines the contradictions inherent in Clinton’s Iraq policy with a remarkable level of self-criticism and brings a nuanced perspective to his analysis of Iraq’s alleged WMD programs and the reasons for and against war. The book emphasizes Clinton’s initial strategic focus on Syrian-Israeli relations, and the author’s discussion of Syria runs parallel to his central narrative about the Israel-Palestine conflict, which traces the tumultuous eight years from the hopeful handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in 1993 through the beginning of the second intifada. The author achieves an impressive balance of scale, packing a tremendous amount of anecdotal information throughout, creating a portrait of diplomacy that reveals the influence of countless small details, from ceremonial gifts to friendly kisses, on world affairs. At the same time, the book surveys the enduring challenges that plagued the Clinton team’s efforts to bring peace to the region, making insightful connections between the history in which the author participated and the present state of the region.
Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-4165-9725-4
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-4165-9430-7