Patrick Tyler has analyzed the policies of ten American presidents on the Middle East and judged whether they have succeeded or failed. Most of them have failed.
Tyler, a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times and The Washington Post, writes with passion and a deep understanding of both the White House and the Middle East. The book’s strengths also stem from the author’s gifts as a story teller and the access he has attained to the people who make history and the anecdotes they have shared.
For example, Tyler tells the story of former CIA director George Tenet, who advised then President George W. Bush not to go into Iraq, only to have the U.S. invade Iraq anyway. At the time of the story Tenet is in Saudi Arabia, so angry and frustrated that all he wants to do is drink a bottle of whiskey and go for a swim. And that is exactly what he does — in the pool of the King of Saudi Arabia as a guest of the King. Whiskey is contraband in Saudi Arabia, but nonetheless, the head of the CIA consumed half a bottle on his own that night.
As engaging to read as it is informative, A World of Trouble offers a wealth of new details and insights about the modern history of the Middle East and U.S. policy there.