Master of the game Henry Kissinger and the art of Middle East diplomacy

Martin Indyk

Book - 2021

"A perceptive and provocative history of Henry Kissinger's diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East that illuminates the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 672 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 595-640) and index.
ISBN
9781101947548
1101947543
Main Author
Martin Indyk (author)
  • The strategy
  • Gaining control
  • The Jordan crisis
  • A failure of imagination
  • Resupply
  • Cease-fire
  • DEFCON 3
  • Golda's inferno
  • Henry of Arabia
  • "A time for peace"
  • The Sinai disengagement
  • "Ploughing the ocean"
  • Breakthrough
  • The step not taken
  • Breakdown
  • Reassessment
  • Denouement.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

A former U.S. ambassador to Israel and special envoy to the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Indyk considers America's ongoing and ever challenging participation in Middle East diplomacy by returning to the politician who launched the process: Henry Kissinger. Indyk draws on interviews with Kissinger, newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, and his own experiences with key players to help us understand what happened and how—and how not—to make peace. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Indyk (Innocent Abroad; Bending History) reflects on Henry Kissinger's diplomacy during the pivotal years (1973–77) of U.S.-led Middle East negotiations, which sought the absence of war rather than the mirage of peace. The study is enhanced by the author's own Middle East credentials, as U.S. ambassador to Israel under Bill Clinton and envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under Barack Obama. He describes Kissinger's strategic shuttle diplomacy among all the countries with stakes in the Middle East, and tells how the largely successful Kissinger constructed a delicate diplomatic path to equilibrium centered on legitimacy more than justice (in the manner achieved by the Congress of Vienna). Based on interviews, Kissinger's papers, memoirs, and U.S. and Israeli archival documents, this study shows how the diplomat set a standard that motivated and mystified many of his successors. Indyk also frankly discusses the pros and cons of Kissinger's being the first Jewish U.S. secretary of state. Few other books address Kissinger's Middle East negotiations during these years, although Niall Ferguson's two-volume authorized biography Kissinger does that and more VERDICT Indyk's reflective review of Kissinger's Realpolitik negotiations can be a model for understanding how to subdue rather than settle international negotiations. Essential reading.—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Lib. of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave a "virtuoso" performance during and after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, according to this sweeping history. Indyk (Innocent Abroad), a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and President Obama's special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, recreates Kissinger's high-wire success in ending the conflict between Israel and the alliance of Egypt and Syria while balancing contradictory goals: he wanted America's ally Israel to win, but also to restrain Israel enough to make Arab countries dump their Soviet sponsors and accept the U.S. as the region's power broker. Indyk recaps two years of Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy as he negotiated incremental agreements that pulled Israeli forces back from some conquered territory, a canny approach, Indyk argues, that promoted regional stability and Israel's later peace treaty with Egypt. Drawing on his firsthand acquaintance with Middle East diplomacy and many of the principals, including Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein, Indyk paints a vivid portrait of Kissinger as visionary statesman, Machiavellian operator, and occasional bumbler as he cajoles, arm-twists, and haggles over demarcation lines and diplomatic phraseology. This fascinating study illuminates both the cold logic of Kissingerian statecraft and the human factors that muddled it. Photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Based on newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, extensive interviews and the author’s own interactions with some of the main players, this book returns to the origins of American-led peace efforts and to the man who created the Middle East peace process—Henry Kissinger.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A perceptive and provocative history of Henry Kissinger's diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East that illuminates the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A perceptive and provocative history of Henry Kissinger's diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East that illuminates the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. “A wealth of lessons for today, not only about the challenges in that region but also about the art of diplomacy . . . the drama, dazzling maneuvers, and grand strategic vision.”—Walter Isaacson, author of The Code Breaker        More than twenty years have elapsed since the United States last brokered a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In that time, three presidents have tried and failed. Martin Indyk—a former United States ambassador to Israel and special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013—has experienced these political frustrations and disappointments firsthand. Now, in an attempt to understand the arc of American diplomatic influence in the Middle East, he returns to the origins of American-led peace efforts and to the man who created the Middle East peace process—Henry Kissinger. Based on newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, extensive interviews with Kissinger, and Indyk's own interactions with some of the main players, the author takes readers inside the negotiations. Here is a roster of larger-than-life characters—Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Hafez al-Assad, and Kissinger himself. Indyk's account is both that of a historian poring over the records of these events, as well as an inside player seeking to glean lessons for Middle East peacemaking. He makes clear that understanding Kissinger's design for Middle East peacemaking is key to comprehending how to—and how not to—make peace.