Inventing the Axis of Evil

Inventing the Axis of Evil Cover

Inventing the Axis of Evil

The Truth about North Korea, Iran, and Syria

By Ervand Abrahamian; Bruce Cumings; Moshe Ma'oz

New Press, Hardcover, 9781565849044, 213pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2004


Ever since the "axis of evil" label was first applied by President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address, the hawks in his administration have left little doubt as to where they intend to turn their attention after Iraq: North Korea, Iran, and Syria. Yet most Americans know very little about these three countries beyond what the Pentagon has told them.

For those wanting to know more about "who's next," this "timely exposition on global (in)stability" ("Korean Quarterly") by three leading experts on each country sets the record straight, confronting relentless fearmongering with hard facts. The authors explore each country's history and internal politics alongside the spotty record of past U.S. interventions, including the Korean War and the CIA-sponsored overthrow of Iran's elected prime minister in 1953. As one reviewer pointed out: "The most important thing we know about Syria is that we really don't know what's going on in Syria" ("Slate"). While entertaining no illusions about these despotic regimes, "Inventing the Axis of Evil" demonstrates that the truth is far more complicated than some would have us believe.

About the Author
Bruce Cumings is the author of "North Korea," "Korea's Place in the Sun," and "Parallax Visions." He teaches at the University of Chicago.

Ervand Abrahamian is distinguished professor of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is a co-author (with Bruce Cumings and Moshe Ma'oz) of "Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth About North Korea, Iran, and Syria" and the author of "The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations," both published by The New Press. "The Coup" was selected as the history book of the year by a committee of independent public intellectuals in Iran. Abrahamian was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Moshe Ma'oz is the author of "Syria and Israel" and "Assad." He is a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.