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Danger and Opportunity

An American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East

About The Book

When Edward P. Djerejian arrived in Beirut for his first Foreign Service assignment, the city was a thriving metropolis, a nexus for a diversity of religious beliefs, political ideas, and cultural practices. More than forty years since, the broader Middle East region is undergoing significant change in the face of a deep-rooted con-frontation between the forces of reaction and modernity in the rapidly growing Muslim populations. Serious deficits in education, political participation, economic progress, and human rights are exacerbated by unresolved conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, and between Arabs and Israelis.

Djerejian, an American diplomat who served eight presidents, both Democratic and Republican, from John F. Kennedy to William Jefferson Clinton, publicly shares for the first time intimate details and colorful anecdotes of his service in the Middle East. During his tenure, he developed close professional relationships with many of the region's secular and religious leaders and was a key advisor to Washington's highest-ranking officials and political leaders. He was instrumental in formulating U.S. policy in the region, and participated actively in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and the formation of the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

A leading expert on the Middle East, Djerejian asserts that Americans are confronted with one of the most important challenges of our time: the struggle of ideas between the forces of extremism and moderation in the Arab and Muslim world. Mistakenly assuming that radical political ideologies fell with communism at the end of the Cold War, policy makers are employing insufficient strategies to promote the important political, economic, commercial, cultural, and security interests that the United States -- and the rest of the world -- have in the region.

Djerejian explains what has gone wrong with U.S. policy and suggests a way forward for future admin-istrations. The United States must learn to deal with the complex religious, ethnic, and cultural factors at play in the Middle East. We must not impose our own political structure on the Arab and Muslim world, but we can help marginalize the radicals and champion a democratic way of life in conformity with the cultural context of the region's own mainstream values and ideals. In his captivating and illuminating book -- the only one of its kind to address the full scope of issues that U.S. leaders face in the Middle East -- Djerejian outlines specific coherent strategies necessary to respond effectively to the imminent danger and dynamic opportunity presented by the struggle within the Islamic world.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian began his lifelong career in foreign service in the Kennedy administration. He has served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs in both the Bush and Clinton administrations and participated in both the 1985 and 1991 Geneva Summits. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1994, he became the founding director of the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and he also chairs an advisory group on United States public diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Threshold Editions (September 9, 2008)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416580256

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Raves and Reviews

"Ed Djerejian, one of our nation's most respected diplomats, frames the need for settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the context of the larger forces at play in the Muslim world with gripping personal narratives and coherent policy recommendations. Danger and Opportunity enriches our comprehension of one of the central issues of our time." -- Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States of America

"Danger and Opportunity deserves the attention of policy-makers for its insightful and pragmatic roadmap that provides the best chance for empowering the moderate and marginalizing the extremist elements that are seeking to tear apart the civil institutions of the region." -- Henry A. Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State

"Few people understand the Middle East as well, or have as much hands-on experience with it, as Ed Djerejian. He was my right-hand man for this region when I was Secretary of State and he played a key role in making the Madrid Peace Conference possible. The only American to ever serve as ambassador to both Syria and Israel, he expertly weaves those and other unique experiences with his vast knowledge and astute analysis of that critically important region of the world into this enlightening book. Danger and Opportunity is a must-read." -- James A. Baker III, 61st U.S. Secretary of State

"Those in government have long been beneficiaries of Edward Djerejian's unparalleled expertise in Middle Eastern affairs. In Danger and Opportunity, Djerejian provides the general public with a sweeping overview of the myriad challenges the United States faces in the region, as well as pragmatic policies for managing them. It is a timely, persuasive, and immensely enjoyable book that anyone interested in America's relationship with this critical region must read." -- Lee H. Hamilton, President and Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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