Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GAME OF NATIONS: The Amorality of Power Politics by Miles Copeland

THE GAME OF NATIONS: The Amorality of Power Politics

By

Pub Date: May 1st, 1970
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Machiavellian principles for Third World revolutionary leaders in solving their power problems and amoral advice on advisable American moves and countermoves are developed through a case history presentation of Egypt's President Nasser, his domestic and diplomatic maneuverings, and the United States' methods and many mistakes in dealing with him and the whole Middle Eastern situation. Copeland, an American management consultant and former State Department employee who helped organize the CIA, played the part of Nasser off and on from 1955-1957 in the State Department's Games Center, where superexperts assume the roles and psyches of world leaders to ""game out"" international trends and crises and predict their outcomes. He has also ""probably seen more of Nasser than any other Westerner,"" and admires Nasser's grasp of ""the art of doing the necessary."" Unhindered by ""loyalty to the cabal"" and unintimidated by any but the strictest governmental security regulations, Copeland describes exactly how the U.S. has meddled since 1947 in the coups, countercoups, assassination attempts, spying, propagandizing, bribery, and dollar diplomacy that have characterized Middle Eastern politics, but he approaches it as a game of self-interest rather than a scandal (""Our citizens can also sleep more easily at night from knowing. . . we are in fact capable of matching the Soviets perfidy for perfidy""). The historical treatment is sketchy and short-sighted since it is strategy-oriented; it ranges from an elucidation of American interference in Syrian politics between 1947-1949 to a brief treatment of the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967 and its aftermath. The case study itself makes intriguing reading, and the general propositions seem serviceable as far as general propositions go.