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While I hoped this book would provide insights into the handling of the middle-east by the different Presidents, it failed to deliver. What is worse, the book is flawed by a serious and distinct bias.
Unfortunately, the amount of insights into the actual decision making process varies dramatically; much if not most of it is very superficial. The author reduces the president in question to a single sentence description and then repeats it ad nauseum. Additionally, while for some presidents (LBJ, Nixon, and Clinton) the author does have extensive material to draw on and can show the decision making process in detail, for the rest of them, he really does not provide much information. Without these details the book provides nothing new.
More disturbing is the authors undisguised bias. This author tells the story from a decidedly pro-arab/anti-israeli view. If you are one of those people who honestly believe that Israel is a universally malign force that is wrong in every case, you will find this a very well balanced book. However, for those who believe that neither side has a monopoly on truth and justice, the bias will be apparent. His writing methodically denigrates Israel and anyone who support it. Additionally, Israeli losses are described briefly in clinical terms while every Arab loss is described in heart-rending and bloody detail. Because of the short space allowed for reviews I cannot go into greater detail.
Despite the fact that I feel this book is both very biased and fails to accomplish its self-stated goals, I still recommend reading this book because: 1)it is on the Presidents shelf. More significantly; 2) by reading it, I was given a valuable insight into how the Arab nations have viewed the last fifty years . In a perverse way, the books very value lies in its extreme bias. I recommend this book for anyone who has a strong foundation in history (thus able to recognize the bias) for an Arab view of history
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