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The Strong Horse

Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations

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Description

In this provocative and timely book, Middle East expert Lee Smith overturns long-held Western myths and assumptions about the Arab world, offering advice for America’s future success in the region.
 
Seeking the motivation behind the September 11 attacks, Smith moved to Cairo, where he discovered that the standard explanation—a clash of East and West—was simply not the case. Middle East conflicts have little to do with Israel, the United States, or the West in general, but are endemic to the region. According to Smith’s “Strong Horse Doctrine,” the Arab world naturally aligns itself with strength, power, and violence. He argues that America must be the strong horse in order to reclaim its role there, and that only by understanding the nature of the region’s ancient conflicts can we succeed.
 
Smith details the three-decades-long relationship between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the United States, and gives a history of the Muslim Brotherhood, which would likely play an important role in the formation of a new government in Egypt. He also discusses Lebanon, where tipping the balance against Hezbollah in favor of pro-democracy, pro-US forces has become imperative, as a special tribunal investigates the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
 
Eye-opening and in-depth, The Strong Horse is much needed background and perspective on today’s headlines.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 02, 2009 – Smith, Middle East correspondent for the Weekly Standard, argues that it was tensions within the Middle East—not a clash of civilizations, American policies in the region or the creation of Israel—that prompted the attacks on September 11. He writes, “In believing that 300 million Arabs had really lined up as one against America, we had been taken in by a mirage,” and he takes to task Edward Said and others he feels homogenize Arabs into a monolithic group. In the book's strongest sections, Smith looks at continuities from the pre-Islamic Arab world to the present to trace mores and differences that seep into the modern day, adding a fascinating historical angle. While he undermines his argument with a penchant for proclaiming the condition of the region to be immutable (“In the Middle East, political violence is not an anomaly. It is the normal state of affairs”), he should be lauded for his commitment and careful research. The book is compelling, well written and worth a read even—or perhaps especially—by those who would disagree with the author.

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The Strong Horse
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Middle East
  • Published: Jan 12, 2010
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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