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DOOMED TO SUCCEED

THE U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP FROM TRUMAN TO OBAMA

Ross provides a learned, wise template for understanding the long-term relationship between two countries tethered to one...

A history of the sometimes-fraught, occasionally tense, but always essential relationship between the United States and Israel.

Ross is not only a recognized expert on Middle Eastern affairs. He also worked in the George H.W. Bush State Department as director of policy planning and has served as Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy and a special assistant to President Barack Obama. So when he writes about American politics in the Middle East, readers should pay attention. The author provides a largely dispassionate history of American policy toward Israel, from President Harry Truman, who was present at Israel’s birth as a nation-state, to the seemingly contentious relationship the Obama administration has cultivated with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel. Yet Ross sees more continuity than disjunction in the relationship between the two countries, especially after presidents Truman and Eisenhower struggled to find a way to reconcile Israel’s place in both Middle Eastern and Cold War politics. For the author, when foreign policy has shifted slightly away from its most Israel-friendly moorings, the purpose has been a concern for relations with the rest of the region. Ross sees this approach as being both shortsighted and ineffective. Yet he also points out that Obama is hardly as hostile to Israeli interests as some have painted him, even while the tensions between the two countries seem to have heightened. Throughout this illuminating book, the author writes clearly and elucidates the complexities of not only the U.S.–Israel relationship, but of the larger Middle Eastern picture. He comes neither to bury nor praise the administrations in which he has worked or those in which he did not; as a consequence, readers will benefit from a front-row vantage point without encountering a myopic perspective.

Ross provides a learned, wise template for understanding the long-term relationship between two countries tethered to one another out of shared self-interest and geopolitical necessity and yet with sometimes-conflicting senses of the way forward.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-14146-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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