The Middle East’s ‘World of Trouble’
Patrick Tyler delves into region’s history, foreign policy
East has lured numerous presidents over the years, from Ike to
George W. While the reasons for these incursions
into the Middle East are perpetually vague,
one word stands out: oil.
That is not to say that
American foreign policy is based only on greed; however, the policies that
follow forays into the Middle East are, at
best, one-sided. After World War II, U.S.
foreign policy was forever bound to various oil-rich kingdoms and
dictatorships, leading to a balancing act between benevolence and greed.
Author Patrick Tyler
attempts to bridge the gaps of information and propaganda in the timely A World of Trouble (Farrar, Straus and
Giroux). Tyler keenly unravels the mysteries of
the Middle East in easily digestible blocks of
history and shows how foreign policy was shaped to the benefit of the victors,
rogues and would-be players. Tyler’s account of
American presidents and their policies is factual and poses an honest look into
the power brokers who attempted to shape and reshape the Middle
East, from sultans and kings to freedom fighters and rogues, and
further cracks open the myths and realities of unique players like King Hussein
and Saddam Hussein.
Tyler also delves into the facts and
fictions regarding the birth of modern Israel and the delicate balance
between nation making and breaking during the Cold War.
A World of Trouble is sparsely illustrated with
black-and-white photos that help readers to keep each chapter in a historical
context. It’s not light reading, however, and there are ample opportunities for
readers to get stuck in a quagmire of droll minutiae. But A
World of Trouble is perfect for history buffs and those who are comfortable