Reset

  • by Stephen Kinzer
  • Narrated by Alan Sklar
  • 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What can the United States do to help realize its dream of a peaceful, democratic Middle East? Stephen Kinzer offers a surprising answer in this paradigm-shifting book.
Two countries in the region, he argues, are America's logical partners in the 21st century: Turkey and Iran. Besides proposing this new "power triangle", Kinzer recommends that the United States reshape relations with its two traditional Middle East allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
This book provides a penetrating, timely critique of America's approach to the world's most volatile region and offers a startling alternative. Kinzer is a master storyteller with an eye for grand characters and illuminating historical detail. In this book he introduces us to larger-than-life figures, such as a Nebraska schoolteacher who became a martyr to democracy in Iran; a Turkish radical who transformed his country and Islam forever; and a colorful parade of princes, politicians, women of the world, spies, oppressors, liberators, and dreamers.
Kinzer's provocative new view of the Middle East is the rare book that will richly entertain while moving a vital policy debate beyond the stale alternatives of the last 50 years.

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What the Critics Say

“An original, unsettling critique... [and] an imaginative solution to the Middle-East stalemate.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

challenges stereotypes

In Reset Stephen Kinzer challenges stereotypes that need re-evaluation if another destructive war is to be avoided. For people whom the history of Iran and Turkey is a blur, this is a useful corrective. The narrative is clear. I sometimes did have to stop to orient myself to be sure if it is Iran or Turkey that is being described. There is a period of parallel developments in secularization where the story moves from one nation to the other to make the comparisons more vivid. The ear does not comprehend this as easily as the eye would.

Nevertheless, this is well written and well read. His chapters on Israel and Saudi Arabia were enlightening and unexpected. The account of Israel's operations as a proxy for the US in Central America was a shocker.

Despite Kinzer's recognition of the dark corners of history, he sees in the United States a great potential to realize itself as an agent for peace in the world. But to to bring about peace in the middle east, it must divest itself of the anachronistic assumptions of the cold war.
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- R.S.

Middle East paradigm shift

Reset offered a new way for me to look at the Middle East. The book makes an argument that partnering with Turkey and Iran makes the most sense for helping to achieve a peaceful solution to the challenges in that area. Stephen Kinzer suggests that we also revisit and reshape our relationships with Saudi Arabia and Israel. The premise of all of this is based on the history of Turkey and Iran and the connections and progressive nature of their peoples to the notions of popular uprisings, gender-equality and the lust for a democratic form of government.

The biggest part of the book is an historical rendition. While I thoroughly enjoyed that I do not know how correct or unbiased it might have been. It does not really matter. Peace in that part of the world is obviously of paramount importance. Actually, peace in every part of the world is of paramount importance and whatever crazy and speculative scheme that might pull that off works for me.

The book was well-written and engaging. It pretty well sums up how things got to be the way they are in the Middle East. Whether leaders of the world are bold enough to attempt a radical paradigm shift to bring about peace is... well something we can all at least hope for. What we’ve done for the last half century certainly isn’t working.

I'd recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of that part of the world or maybe just for anyone interested in the world in general.
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- Robert "Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-08-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio