Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East

5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452612706. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. POL SCI
OrangeReviewStarHaving spent 11 years reporting for the New York Times and surviving seven months in 2008 as a hostage of the Taliban, Rohde (A Rope and a Prayer) has seen the failure of American relations with the Arab world up close. He believes that for far too long, U.S. policy in the region has been characterized by an oversized military and civilian contractors operating as war profiteers in a world of waste, fraud, and abuse. Here, the author offers nuanced solutions in the form of a reconstituted American diplomacy, aid packages, and entrepreneurial programs that coexist alongside increased public-private partnerships and revitalized democratic institutions. These solutions must be balanced with a multifaceted approach in which Arab nations are supported with well-intentioned U.S. trade, education, and investment as they work to accomplish internal stability. Patrick Lawlor provides a narration that is lucid, dynamically paced, and conveyed in a tone that avoids the flat delivery that is all too common in nonfiction audios.
VERDICT Rohde's pragmatic, insightful, and bipartisan analysis of American relations with Arab nations is highly recommended for anyone interested in U.S. foreign policy and the dynamics of a post-Arab Spring world.

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