Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East
Beacon Press, Hardcover, 9780807002346, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 15, 2004
Begun as the United States moved its armed forces into Iraq, Rashid Khalidi's powerful and thoughtful new book examines the record of Western involvement in the region and analyzes the likely outcome of our most recent Middle East incursions. Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of the political and cultural history of the entire region as well as interviews and documents, Khalidi paints a chilling scenario of our present situation and yet offers a tangible alternative that can help us find the path to peace rather than Empire.
We all know that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sadly, as Khalidi reveals with clarity and surety, America's leaders seem blindly committed to an ahistorical path of conflict, occupation, and colonial rule. Our current policies ignore rather than incorporate the lessons of experience. American troops in Iraq have seen first hand the consequences of U.S. led "democratization" in the region. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict seems intractable, and U.S. efforts in recent years have only inflamed the situation. The footprints America follows have led us into the same quagmire that swallowed our European forerunners. Peace and prosperity for the region are nowhere in sight.
This cogent and highly accessible book provides the historical and cultural perspective so vital to understanding our present situation and to finding and pursuing a more effective and just foreign policy.
Rashid Khalidi, author of three previous books about the Middle East - Origins of Arab Nationalism, Under Siege, and the award-winning Palestinian Identity-is the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. He has written more than seventy-five articles on aspects of Middle East history and politics including pieces in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many journals. Professor Khalidi has received fellowships and grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Rockefeller Foundation; he was also the recipient of a Fulbright research award. Professor Khalidi has been a regular guest on numerous radio and TV shows, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Nightline.
Khalidi has produced an extremely valuable analysis of how and why the PLO made the decisions it did during that fateful summer of 1982. . .His generally objective, lucid and incisive account of PLO decision-making fills a critical void in the literature about the Israeli invasion.--Thomas Friedman, author of From Beirut to Jerusalem and Longitudes and Latitudes
Praise for Palestinian Identity:
Winner of the 1997 Albert Hourani Book Award
"A pathbreaking work of major importance. . . [Khalidi demonstrates] a complete mastery of the relevant literature in Arabic, Hebrew and Western sources."--Edward Said, author of Orientalism
Praise for Resurrecting Empire:
"Rashid Khalidi's extraordinary book is enormously relevant for our times, especially in light of America's growing involvement in the Middle East. Khalidi brings first hand knowledge and an extensive historical background to a topic where such insight is needed more than ever."--Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize, author of The Roaring Nineties
"If you are wondering why the United States is up to its ears in alligators in Iraq and is widely hated in the Arab world, read this impressive book. Unlike most so-called Middle East experts, Khalidi actually knows a great deal about the that region, which allows him to make a sophisticated and persuasive case that the Bush Administration's plan to re-make the Middle East at the end of a rifle barrel is delusional."--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago