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Grand delusion : the rise and fall of American ambition in the Middle East  Cover Image Book Book

Grand delusion : the rise and fall of American ambition in the Middle East / Steven Simon.

Simon, Steven, (author.).


"A longtime American foreign policy insider's biting and definitive reckoning with the high cost of this country's ambitious meddling in the Middle East-and its bitter end The culmination of almost 40 years of expertise and insider policy access, Grand Delusion is Steven Simon's tour de force, offering a comprehensive yet analytical tour of U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Simon begins with the Reagan administration, when the Middle East shifted from a group of faraway and frequently squabbling nations to an urgent opportunity for America to (in Reagan's words) "serve the cause of world peace and the future of mankind." Assuring citizens that "we owe it to ourselves and to our children" to be a force for peace in the region, Reagan fired the starting gun on decades of profound American involvement. As the U.S. economy became increasingly reliant on oil and as policy and diplomatic momentum gathered, the Middle East became more and more central to foreign policy, and more and more likely to be the subject of grand rhetoric, until the Obama administration ended an era by turning away from the region. Grand Delusion explores the motivations, approach, and legacy of each administration up to today, showing us a complex spiderweb of intertwined events-from Lebanese civil conflict to shifting Iranian domestic politics, to Saudi Arabia's quest for security-through the lens of a Washington policy process frequently ruled by cognitive bias, wishful thinking, and outright malfeasance. Simon's sharp sense of humor and incisive analytical powers bring a complex history to life. Despite an impressive DC resume-he rose to become the National Security Council senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs-Simon never fails to tell the truth as he sees it. He challenges the nature of American commitment to Israel; disputes the popular narrative of Desert Storm as a "good war"; and calls out the enormous consequences of our mistakes, particularly for victims of American military action. As Grand Delusion shows, this story is only occasionally impressive, and frequently disgraceful. But it's a story with deep and enduring resonance for the future of both the U.S. and the Middle East"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780735224247
  • Physical Description: 478 pages : maps ; 24 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction : What Went Wrong? -- Jimmy Carter : Opening Act -- Ronald Reagan : Empathy and Indecision -- George H. W. Bush : The Old New World Order -- William J. Clinton : Enlargement and Containment -- George W. Bush : Wrong Man, Wrong Time -- Barack Obama : Live and Learn -- Donald J. Trump : The Deal of the Century -- Joe Biden : Back to the Future?
Subject: United States > Foreign relations > Middle East.
Middle East > Foreign relations > United States.

Available copies

  • 1 of 2 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at De Soto.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
De Soto Public Library 327.73 Sim (Text) 33858000061696 New Books Available -

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