An authoritative, meticulous and exhaustive--375 pages of small print--history of the Camp David Accords by a participant who was there during the long and difficult process that preceded the agreement. Quandt was on the staff of the National Security Council from 1977 to mid-1979, specializing in the Middle East and reporting directly to Zbigniew Brzezinski. Camp David is widely regarded as the major foreign-policy achievement of the Carter Administration, and Quandt took part in most of the meetings the President had with Middle-East leaders. He also accompanied Secretary of State Cyrus Vance on almost all his trips to that tortured region. Quandt has fleshed out his own observations and recollections through interviews with many of his former colleagues and with research in Carter's presidential papers. Since he did not have access to the decision-making process of other governments, he necessarily leans much to the American side. He also centers on the presidency, since he saw much less of how Congress and other groups worked to influence events. Carter succeeded in bringing about peace between Israel and Egypt at Camp David, a great accomplishment. But he was unable to do more toward a solution to the Middle-East difficulties. Quandt believes the reason was that the nature of the US political system, particularly the short electoral cycle, leaves a president little time to attend to foreign policy. A solid history and analysis of the politics, both foreign and domestic, of the period.