Friday, January 16, 2009

The Courage to Survive or A World of Trouble

The Courage to Survive

Author: Dennis J Kucinich

Destined to be one of most important and talked-about books of the year, "The Courage to Survive" is must reading for anyone who wants to know where Dennis Kucinich believes America must go and how we can get there. It is a book that sets the tone for the national debate as we choose new leadership in a time of great crisis and great opportunity.

Publishers Weekly

Former Cleveland mayor, current Congressional representative and Democratic presidential candidate Kucinich presents an absorbing, fluid memoir of his first 21 years. Coming of age in inner-city Cleveland in the 1950s, Kucinich was the eldest child of a large Catholic family that often struggled to stay afloat. His early experiences taught him to persevere, to utilize all available opportunities, to work hard and to reach out: "It is in extending your hand that you affirm your existence." Working from a young age to help pay the family bills, Kucinich was inspired by John F. Kennedy and other politicians, "developing a powerful sense of mission, to be of service to God and humanity." Kucinich's is a familiar but engaging story of lessons learned and obstacles overcome (poverty, family illness and his notably short stature), set in a carefully observed time of great social change. Taking readers through numerous family moves, multiple schools and neighborhoods, several jobs and his first, unsuccessful campaign for city council with lyrical finesse and a sure voice, Kucinich is a natural writer; moreover, he wisely avoids any kind of preaching, judging or politicking, allowing the story to speak for itself. This view on youth in the 1950s and the making of a conscientious leader should be of interest to a wide audience, regardless of personal politics. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Interesting textbook: Lei, Negócio, e Sociedade

A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East--from the Cold War to the War on Terror

Author: Patrick Tyler

The White House and the Middle East—from the Cold War to the War on Terror

The Middle East is the beginning and the end of U.S. foreign policy: events there influence our alliances, make or break presidencies, govern the price of oil, and draw us into war. But it was not always so—and as Patrick Tyler shows in this thrilling chronicle of American misadventures in the region, the story of American presidents’ dealings there is one of mixed motives, skulduggery, deceit, and outright foolishness, as well as of policymaking and diplomacy.

Tyler draws on newly opened presidential archives to dramatize the approach to the Middle East across U.S. presidencies from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. He takes us into the Oval Office and shows how our leaders made momentous decisions; at the same time, the sweep of this narrative—from the Suez crisis to the Iran hostage crisis to George W. Bush’s catastrophe in Iraq—lets us see the big picture as never before. Tyler tells a story of presidents being drawn into the affairs of the region against their will, being kept in the dark by local potentates, being led astray by grasping subordinates, and making decisions about the internal affairs of countries they hardly understand. Above all, he shows how each president has managed to undo the policies of his predecessor, often fomenting both anger against America on the streets of the region and confusion at home.

A World of Trouble is the Middle East book we need now: compulsively readable, free of cant and ideology, and rich in insight about the very human challenges a new president will face as he or she tries to restoreAmerica’s standing in the region.

Publishers Weekly

In this epic, remarkably readable history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East from Eisenhower to Bush II, Washington Post reporter Tyler uses an up-close, journalistic style to depict the power struggles and compromises that have defined the past half-century. Tyler focuses on key turning points in U.S.-Middle East relations and documents the conversations and real-time decision-making processes of the presidents, cabinet members and other key figures. Readers are treated to an intimate view of Eisenhower's careful, steady diplomacy during the Suez crisis, Kissinger's egocentric and fateful decision to fully arm Israel in the October war of 1973 while Nixon struggled through the Watergate scandal, and the tangled web of communication and intentional deceit during the Reagan administration that led to the Iran-Contra scandal. Tyler makes the issues and relationships clear without resorting to oversimplification or ideological grandstanding, and his journalistic instincts steer him toward direct quotation and telling anecdotes rather than generalization. Readers in the market for an examination of how leadership has embroiled the U.S. in the Middle East are well-advised to consult this riveting text. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews

A veteran journalist chronicles 60 years of U.S. fecklessness in the Middle East. The colorful narrative opens in 2004 with CIA Director George Tenet drunk and angry during a post-midnight swim in a Saudi royal family pool, a perfect metaphor for American floundering in the Middle East for the past few decades. Almost nothing that follows dispels this image of the United States, bitter and baffled by the ceaseless problems posed by this region. Tyler (A Great Wall: Six Presidents and China: An Investigatory History, 1999, etc.) uses the frame of the presidency to survey America's involvement in a place that, because of its oil resources, the ideological challenge of Islamic extremism and America's ties to Israel, demands the attention of the nation's "highest political authority." Since Eisenhower, the White House has grappled with an unrelenting parade of Middle East conflicts: Gamal Nasser's 1956 seizure of the Suez Canal; the 1967 Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel; the 1973 Yom Kippur War; the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the takeover of Tehran's American embassy; the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, the 1987 Intifada in the Gaza Strip; the eight-year Iran-Iraq war beginning in 1988; the First Gulf War against Saddam Hussein; the second Intifada; and the 2003 still-unresolved American invasion of Iraq. Tyler demonstrates how American presidents' responses to these and countless lesser eruptions have been shaped by Cold War strategies, War on Terror exigencies, shifting alliances among Arab leaders and a variety of other factors that have consistently frustrated American attempts at peacemaking. Although the has a few kind words for Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, nopresident escapes Tyler's criticism for mostly fumbling attempts to deal-or not deal-with the region that continues to pose the greatest threat to world peace. The heroes here (Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin) are few, the successes (Camp David Accords) rare, the villains and rogues many. With his reporter's instinct for telling detail, Tyler offers a history that makes for enlightening, if depressing, reading. A superb, evenhanded account of America's role in a continuing tragedy. Agent: Bob Bernstein/D4EO Literary Agency

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